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r^^' 1855 


MY object in the present Essay has been to deal 
with the New Testament as a whole, and that on 
purely historical grounds. The separate books of which 
it is composed are considered not individually, but as 
claiming to be parts of the Apostolic heritage of Chris- 
tians. And thus reserving for another occasion the 
inquiry into their mutual relations and essential unity, 
I have endeavoured to connect the history of the New 
Testament Canon with the growth and consolidation 
of the Catholic Church, and to point out the relation 
existing between the amount of evidence for the authen- 
ticity of its component parts, and the whole mass of 
Christian literature. However imperfectly this design 
has been carried out, I cannot but hope that such a 
method of inquiry will convey both the truest notion of 
the connexion of the written Word with the living body 
of Christ, and the surest conviction of its divine autho- 
rity. Hitherto the co-existence of several types of 
Apostolic doctrine in the first age and of various parties 
in Christendom for several generations afterwards has 
been quoted to prove that our Bible as well as our Faith 
is a mere compromise. But while I acknowledge most 
willingly the great merit of the Tubingen School in 


pointing out with marked distinctness the characteristics 
of the different books of the New Testament, and their 
connexion with special sides of Christian doctrine and 
with various eras in the Christian Church, it seems to 
me almost inexplicable that they should not have found 
in those writings the explanation instead of the result of 
the divisions which are traceable to the Apostolic times. 

To lay claim to candour is only to profess in other 
words that I have sought to fulfil the part of an historian 
and not of a controversialist. No one will be more 
grieved than myself if I have misrepresented or omitted 
any point of real importance ; and those who know the 
extent and intricacy of the ground to be travelled over 
will readily pardon less serious errors. But candour 
will not I trust be mistaken for indifference : for I have 
no sympathy with those who are prepared to sacrifice 
with apparent satisfaction each debated position at the 
first assault. Truth is indeed dearer than early faith, 
but he can love truth little who knows no other love. If 
then I have ever spoken coldly of Holy Scripture, it is 
because I have wished to limit my present statements to 
the just consequences of the evidence brought forward. 
But history is not our only guide ; for while internal 
criticism cannot usurp the place of history, it has its 
proper field ; and as feeling cannot decide on facts, so 
neither can testimony convey that sense of the manifold 
wisdom of the Apostolic words which is I believe the 
sure blessing of those who seek rightly to penetrate into 
their meaning. 

Whatever obligations I owe to previous writers are 
I hope in all cases duly acknowledged. That they are 


fewer than might have been expected is a necessary 
result of the change which was required in the treatment 
of the subject owing to the form of modern controversy ; 
and the same change will free me from the necessity 
of discharging the unwelcome office of a critic. Yet it 
would be ungrateful not to bear witness to the accuracy 
and fulness of Lardner's ' Credibility' ; for, however im- 
perfect it may be in the view which it gives of the earliest 
period of Christian literature, it is, unless I am mistaken, 
more complete and trustworthy than any work which 
has been written since on the same subject. 

There is however one great drawback to the study of 
Christian antiquity, so serious that I cannot but allude 
to it. The present state of the text, at least of the 
early Greek Fathers, is altogether unworthy of an age 
which has done so much to restore to classic writers 
their ancient beauty; and yet even in intellect Origen 
has few rivals. But it is perhaps as unreasonable as it 
is easy to complain ; and I have done nothing more 
than follow Manuscript authority as far as I could in 
giving the different catalogues of the New Testament. 
I can only regret that I have not done so throughout ; 
for — to take one example — the text of the Canons given 
in Mansi, as far as my experience goes, is utterly un- 
trustworthy, while the materials for determining a good 
one are abundant and easily accessible. 

During the slow progress of the Essay through the 
press several works have appeared of which I have been 
able to make little or no use. All that I wished to say 
on the Roman and African Churches was printed before 
I saw Milman's Latin Christianity ; and of the second 

C. b 




edition of Bunsen's Hippolytiis and his Age L have only 
been able to use partially the Analecta Ante-Niccena. 
It is however .a great satisfaction to me to find that Dr 
Milman maintains that the early Roman Church was 
essentially Greek ; a view which I believe to be as true 
as it is important, notwithstanding the remarks of his 
Dublin reviewer. 

It only remains for me to acknowledge how much I 
owe to the kind help of friends in consulting books 
which were not within reach. And I have further to 
offer my sincere thanks to the Rev. W. Cureton, Canon 
of Westminster, to the Rev.^ Dr Burgess of Blackburn, 
to Dr Tregelles of Plymouth, and to Mr T. Ellis of 
the British Museum, for valuable information relative 
to Syriac Manuscripts ; and likewise to the Rev. H. O. 
Coxe of the Bodleian Library for consulting several 
Greek Manuscripts of the Canons contained in that 


>/j', 1855. 



DURING the eleven years which have elapsed since 
the first edition of , this History of the New Testa- 
ment Canon was published, the subject with which it 
deals has been brought under frequent discussion. It is 
therefore with real thankfulness that I can feel that the 
positions which I occupied at first have in every case, as 
far as I can judge, remained unshaken. On the first 
appearance of the book a favourable critic remarked 
that I had 'conceded to opponents more than I need 
* have done' in the conduct of the inquiry. Perhaps it 
was so then, but I felt sure that I had not conceded 
more than I oiight^ and therefore no further concessions 
remain to be made now. The lesson even in this narrow 
field is not without value. Every one admits that 
Truth has nothing to fear from the fullest inquiry into 
each portion of the realm which she claims for her 
inheritance ; but it is hard to carry the admission into 
practice. And so reticence begets suspicion, and sus- 
picion hardens into distrust and disbelief, which would 



never have grown up, if a candid exposition of difficulties 
and defects in evidence had been made in the first 
instance by one who did not hold them to be insuper- 

It will be found that the whole Essay has been care- 
fully revised. Very much has been added from sources 
either new or neglected by me before. By an enlarge- 
ment of Appendix D I have given the documentary 
evidence for the Canon of the whole Bible, furnishing 
in this way the original texts of the principal passages 
which are given only in a translation in the Bible in the 
Church. In the task of revision I found valuable help 
in Credner's posthumous Geschichte der Neutestament- 
lichen Kanon (Berlin i860), though the unfinished work 
is at best only an inadequate expression of his judg- 

My thanks are due to Dr Tregelles for a fac-simile 
of his tracing of the Muratorian Canon, and to many 
other friends for corrections and additions, of whom 
I may be allowed to name specially the Rev. F. J. A. 
Hort. To the Rev. Hilton Bothamley my obligations 
are still greater. He not only revised the proofs and 
verified almost all the references, but also furnished me 
with constant and valuable suggestions which have 
contributed in no small degree to whatever superiority 
in accuracy and arrangement the new edition has over 
the old. 

B. F. W. 


July 9, 1866. 


In revising this Edition of my Essay I have had the 
help of an elaborate and continuous criticism on the earlier 
part of it by the anonymous author of Supernatural 
Religion^, It is, I think, impossible to value too highly 
the privilege of being able to regard a complicated line 
of evidence from another point of sight : to see difficul- 
ties as they are actually experienced and not as they are 
anticipated, or imagined : to realise the importance of 
details in a new position which are insignificant in the 
old one. And before I proceed to offer some necessary 
remarks upon the arguments of my critic, I wish to 
acknowledge most fully the obligation under which I lie 
to him. He has called my attention to several omis- 
sions, to one or two errors of detail, to many imperfec- 
tions of language, which may have misled others, since 
they have misled him. These various faults and defects 

1 [My references are made to the have been singularly hasty, for nume- 

first edition. This, however, will rous misprints are kept unchanged : 

cause no difficulty. In the second e.g., " Hegesippus in the second half 

edition Vol. I. coincides (as far as I of the eleventh century" (i. 218); 

have observed) page for page with '■Dial. 103, 105, thrice^ 107' (for 

the y?;'J-/ edition from p. 217 onwards, 105 thrice,) (i. 291) ; Na^wpatos, Na- 

5 being subtracted from the number ^ipatos (i. 309 n.), &c.; nor have I 

of the original page. In Vol. ii. I noticed that any errors other than 

have not observed any difference of clerical have been corrected.] 
page or line. The ' revision ' must 


I have endeavoured to remove or remedy ; and I trust 
that each objection has been fairly met, as each has 
certainly been fairly considered. 

On two points of some interest, but on two only, I 
am inclined to modify the statements which I made be- 
fore. A fresh consideration of the actual circumstances 
in which Papias was placed, and of the fragmentary 
notices of his writings which remain, leads me to think 
that I have conceded too much to the supposition of his 
anti-Pauline tendencies. I have, however, left what I 
originally wrote with some very slight changes. On the 
other hand, I do not now think that the evidence on 
which I relied before is sufficient to prove beyond rea- 
sonable doubt that the Valentinian quotations in the 
Treatise against Heresies can be referred to Valentinus 
himself In this case, therefore, I have re-written the 
paragraph which deals with the debateable facts, though, 
on the whole, I am still disposed to maintain my former 

. So far I am indebted to the criticisms of my learned 
opponent for many improvements in detail in the course 
of the Essay ; but my chief obligation is of a different 
kind. I owe to him a more complete conviction than I 
could otherwise have had of the soundness of the conclu- 
sions which I have maintained. He has stated objec- 
tions, which I knew before only through foreign books, 
with the clear, calm vigour of an English-speaking 
advocate, and the objections, even when thus stated, 
seem to me to be conclusively answered by the replies 
which have been given to them by anticipation. As to 
this, however, each student must judge for himself from 
the facts which lie before him. 

The wide acceptance which the work appears to have 
met with will also in the end, as I believe, render another 


service to the truth. It will lead many to investigate 
the early history of Christianity for themselves; and if 
so, it will serve at once to establish the importance of 
close historical investigation for the understanding of 
our faith, and also to illustrate the utter hopelessness of 
a historical investigation which deals only with literary 
fragments and leaves out of account the continuity 
and power of life. 

Still, however widely I may differ from my critic 
both as to method and results, in one thing at least I am 
wholly at one with him. I heartily accept his proposi- 
tion (what Christian will not i^) that in relation to the 
present subject, Truth, whatever it may be, ' is the only 
* object worthy of desire or capable of satisfying a 
' rational mind ;' and, this being so, I do not know that 
I can make a better return for the service which I have 
received, than by pointing out some cases, more or less 
serious, in which he has fallen into error. 

In this connexion I may perhaps express my surprise 
that a writer who is quite capable of thinking for himself 
should have considered it worth while to burden his 
pages with lists of names and writings, arranged, for the 
most part, alphabetically, which have in very many cases 
no value whatever for a scholar, while they can only 
oppress the general reader with a vague feeling that all 
'profound' critics are on one side. The questions to be 
discussed must be decided by evidence and by argument 
and not by authority. Even if it were, the 
real authority, in this way of presenting it, bears no 
exact relation to the apparent authority. Writers are 
quoted as holding on independent grounds an opinion 
which is involved in their characteristic assumptions. 
And more than this, the references are not unfrequently 
actually misleading. One example will shew that I do 


not speak too strongly. The following passage occurs 
Vol. i. p. 273 : 

^ It has been demonstrated that Ignatius was not sent to Rome 
*at all, but suffered martyrdom in Antioch itself on the 20th of 

* December, a.d. 115/^^ when he was condemned to be cast to wild 
'beasts in the amphitheatre, in consequence of the fanatical ex- 
'citement produced by the earthquake which took place on the 

* 13th of that month.<*^' 

The references in support of these statements are the 
following : 

<"> Baur, Urspr. d. Episc. Tub. Zeitschr. f. Theol. 1838, H. 3, 
p. 155 anm. ; Bretschneider, Probabilia, &c. p. 185; Bleek, E/n/. 
N. T., p. 144; Guericke, H^buch^ K. G. I. p. 148; Hagenbach, 
K.G., I. p. Ii3f. ; Davidson, httrod. N. T., I. p. 19; Mayerhoff, 
Ei7il. petr. Schr., p. 79 ; Scholten, Die alt. Zeugnisse^ p. 40, p. 50 f. ; 
Volkmar, Der Ursp?'7tHg, p. 52; H^buch Eitil. Apocr.^ I. p. 121 f., 
p. 136. 

<*^ Volkmar, H'buch Eml. Apocr.^ I. p. 121 ff., 136 f.; Der 
Urspruftg, p. 52 ff.; Baur, Urspr d. Episc. Tiib. Zeitschr. f. Th. 1838, 
H. 3, p. I49f ; Gesch. chr. Kirche, 1863, i. p. 440, anm. i; Davidson, 
Introd. N. T., I. p. 19 ; Scholten, Die alt. Zeugnisse, p. 5 1 f. ; cf. 
Francke, Zur Gesch. Trajaiis^ u. s. w. 1840, p. 253 f . ; Hilgenfeld, 
Die ap. Vater, p. 214. 

Such an array of authorities, drawn from different 
schools, cannot but appear overwhelming ; and the fact 
that about half of them are quoted twice over emphasizes 
the implied precision of their testimony as to the two 
points affirmed. I can therefore hardly be wrong in 
supposing that any ordinary reader would believe that 
if he could turn to the passages sJDecified, he would 
find in each some elements, or at least some au- 
thoritative confirmation, of the 'demonstration' (i) of 
the place and date of the death of Ignatius [references 
(3)], and (2) of the circumstances and occasion of it 
[references (4) ], As very few English readers can 
be expected to have access to the works in question, it 


may be worth while to set down in order what the 
student would find in place of the ' demonstration/ and 
the general agreement in its validity which he is led to 

i. References (3). 

1. Baur, Urspr. d. Episc. Tiib. Zeitschr. 1838, ii. 3, p. 
155 anm. In this note, which is too long to quote, there 
is nothing, so far as I see, in any way bearing upon the 

history except a passing supposition ' wenn Ignatius 

' im J. 116 an ihn [Polycarp] schrieb ' 

2. Bretschneider, Probabilia x. p. 185. ' Pergamus 
' ad Ignatium qin circa aiimwi cxvi obiisse dicitiir! 

3. Bleek, Eiiil. N. T, p. 144 [p. 142 ed. 1862]' 

* In den Briefen des Ignatius Bischofes von Antiochien, 

* der unter Trajan gegen 115 ^// Rom als Martyrer 
' starb.' 

4. Guericke, Handb. K. G, i. p. 148 [p. 177 ed. 3, 
1838, the edition which I have used]. ' Ignatius, Bischoff 
' von Antiochien (Euseb. H. E. iii. 36), zvelcher wegen 
' seines standhaften Bekenntnisses Christi tmter Trajan 
'115 nach Rom gefiihrt, luid hier 1 1 6 im Colosseum von 
^ Low en zerrissen wurde (vgl. § 23, i)' [where the same 
statement is repeated]. 

5. Hagenbach, K. (7. i. 113 f. [I have not been able 
to see the book referred to, but in his Lectures Die 
christliche Kirche der drei ersten JahrJinnderte^ 1853 
(pp. 122 ff.), Hagenbach mentions the difficulty which 
has been felt as to the execution at Rome, while an exe- 
cution at Antioch might have been simpler and more 
impressive, and then quotes Gieseler's solution, and 
passes on with ' Wie dem auch sei'.] 

6. Davidson, Introd. N. T. i. p. 19. 'All [the. 

* Epistles of Ignatius] are posterior to Ignatius himself, 
' who was not thrown to the wild beasts in the amphi- 


'theatre at Rome by command of Trajan, but at Antioch 
'on December 20, A.D. 115. The Epistles were written 
'after 150A.D.' [For these peremptory statements no 
evidence and no authority whatever is adduced.] 

7. Mayerhoff, Einl. Petr. ScJir. p. 79. ' Ignatius, 

' der spates tens 117 zil Rom den Mdrtyrertod litt ' 

8. Scholten, /^/> alt. Zeugnisse ^. 40, mentions 115 
as the year of Ignatius' death : p. 50 f. The Ignatian 
letters are rejected partly *weil sie eine Martyrer-reise 
' des Ignatius nach Rom melden, deren schon friiher 
' erkanntes ungeschichtliches Wcsen durch Volkmar's 
* nicht ungegriindete Vermuthung um so wahrschein- 
' licher wird. Darnach scheint namlich Ignatius nicht zu 
' Rom auf Befehl des sanftmiithigen Trajans, sondern zu 
' Antiochia selbst, in Folge eines am dreizehnten Decem- 
' ber 115 eingetretenen Erdbebens, als Opfer eines aber- 

glaubischen Volkswahns am zwanzigsten December 
' dieses Jahres im Amphitheater den wilden Thieren zur 
' Beute iiberliefert worden zu sein.' 

9. Volkmar, Der Ursprung, p. 52. [p. 52 ff.] [This 
book I have not been able to consult, but from secondary 
references I gather that it repeats the arguments given 
under the next reference.] 

10. Volkmar, Handb. Einl. Apocr. p. 121 f., p. 136. 
' Ein Haupt der Gemeinde zu Antiochia, Ignatius, wurde 
' wahrend Trajan dortselbst iiberwinterte, am 20. De- 
'zember den Thieren vorgeworfen, in Folge der durch 
*das Erdbeben vom 13. Dezember 115 gegen die uQeoi 
' erweckten Volkswuth, ein Opfer zugleich der Siegesfeste 
'des Parthicus, welche die Judith-Erzahlung (i. 16) an- 
' deutet, Dio (c. 24 f. vgl. c. 10) voraussetzt...' [I do not 
quote the arguments with which I am not now con- 

If now these authorities are placed in connexion with 


the Statements under (3) which they are naturally sup- 
posed to confirm, it will be seen that three only of the 
nine writers lend any support to them : Volkmar (9, 10) 
and his two followers, one English, Davidson (6), and one 
Dutch, Scholten (8) ; and that one only (Volkmar) offers 
any arguments in support of them. Baur (i) occupies a 
negative position. Bleek (3), Guericke (4), Hagenbach, 
doubtfully (5), and Mayerhoff (7) affirm the martyrdom 
at Rome, the fact which the text denies ; for it must be 
remembered that the references are made (apparently) in 
support of a definite fact which is said to have been 

* demonstrated.' 

ii. References (4). 

1. Volkmar: see above. 

2. Baur, Ursprung d. Episc. Tiib. Zeitschr. 1838, ii. 
H. 3, p. 149 f. In this passage Baur discusses generally 
the historical character of the Martyrdom, which he con- 
siders, as a whole, to be ' doubtful and incredible.' To 
establish this result he notices the relation of Christianity 
to the Empire in the time of Trajan, which he regards 
as inconsistent with the condemnation of Ignatius ; and 
the improbable circumstances of the journey. The per- 
sonal characteristics, the letters, the history of Ignatius, 
are, in his opinion, all a mere creation of the imagination. 
The utmost he allows is that he may have suffered mar- 
tyrdom (p. 169). 

3. Baur, Gesch. chr. Kirche, 1863, i. p. 440, anm. i. 
' Die Verurtheilung ad bestias und die Abfiihrung dazu 

* nach Rom mag auch unter Trajan nichts zu un- 

' gewohnliches gewesen sein, aber bleibt die Geschichte 

'seines Martyrerthums auch nach der Vertheidigung 

* derselben von Lipsius hochst unwahrscheinlich. Das 

' Factische ist wohl nur dass Ignatius im J. 1 1 5, als Trajan 

* in Antiochien uberwinterte, in Folge des Erdbebens in 


Miesem Jahr, in Antiochlen selbst als ein Opfer der 
* Volkswuth zum Martyrer wurde.' 

4. Davidson : see above. 

5. Scholten : see above. 

6. Francke, Zur Gesch. Trojans, 1840 [1837] 
p. 253 f. [A discussion of the date of the beginning of 
Trajan's Parthian war, which he fixes in A.D. 115, but he 
decides nothing directly as to the time of Ignatius* 

7. Hilgenfeld, Die ap. Vdter, p. 214 [pp. 210 ff.]. 
Hilgenfeld points out the objections to the narrative in 
the Acts of the Martyrdom, the origin of which he 
refers to the period between Eusebius and Jerome : 
setting aside this detailed narrative he considers the 
historical character of the general statements in the 
letters. The mode of punishment by a provincial 
governor causes some difficulty : ' bedenklicher,' he con- 
tinues, ' ist jedenfalls der andre Punct, die Versendung 
' nach Rom.' Why was the punishment not carried out at 
Antioch } Would it be likely that under an Emperor 
like Trajan a prisoner like Ignatius would be sent to 
Rome to fight in the amphitheatre .'* The circumstances 
of the journey as described are most improbable. The 
account of the persecution itself is beset by difficulties. 
Having set out these objections he leaves the question, 
casting doubt (like Baur) upon the whole history, and 
gives no support to the bold affirmation of a martyrdom 
' at Antioch, on December 20, A.D. 115.' 

In this case, therefore, again, Volkmar alone offers 
any arguments in support of the statement in the text ; 
and the final result of the references is, that the alleged 
' demonstration ' is, at the most, what Scholten calls 
'a not groundless conjecture V 

^ It may be worth while to add that in spite of the profuse display 


It seems quite needless to multiply comments on 
these results. Any one who will candidly consider this 
analysis will, I believe, agree with me in thinking that 
such a style of annotation, which runs through the 
whole work, is justly characterized as frivolous and 
misleading. It suggests the notion that the contents 
of a commonplace book have been emptied into the 
margin without careful collation and sifting. But it 
should be remembered in adopting such a process, if 
I may for once borrow the vigorous language of the 
author, that ' a good strong assertion becomes a power- 
' ful argument, since few readers have the means of 
'verifying its correctness' (ii. 66). 

The text §f the Essay is not unfrequently deformed 
by similar blemishes, which I can only refer to haste 
and impatience of revision. But from whatever source 
they spring such errors detract greatly from the value of 
the author's judgment. It is difficult, for example, to see 
how a writer with any clear views on the principles of 
textual criticism could either write or allow to stand 
even at the interval of eight hundred pages the two 
following statements: (i) 'The episode of the angel 

* who was said to descend at certain seasons and trouble 

' the water of the pool of Bethesda may be mentioned 

'here in passing, although the passage is not found in 
' the older MSS. of the fourth Gospel (John v. 3, 4) and 
' it was certainly [' probably' p. 113, ed. 2] a late intcrpo- 
' lation' (i. 103). (2) * The words which most pointedly 
' relate the miraculous phenomena characterizing the 

* pool do not appear in the oldest MSS. and are con- 
' sequently rejected [John v. 3, 4, is quoted]. We 

* must believe, however, that this passage did originally 

of learning in connexion with Ignatius, I do not see even in the second 
edition any reference to the full and elaborate work of Zahn. 


* belong to the text, and has from an early period been 

* omitted from MSS. on account of the difficulty it 

* presents ; and one of the reasons which points to this 
' is the fact that verse 7, which is not questioned and has 
' the authority of all the codices, absolutely implies the 
' existence of the previous words, without which it has 
'no sense' (ii. 421). No contradiction could be more 
complete or more peremptory. On the other hand no 
critical problem could be more simple ; yet all principles 
of solution appear to be lost in the medium through 
which it is regarded. 

It would scarcely be worth while to refer to the 
startling mistranslations of Greek and Latin which occur 
from time to time, if the author did nogt most justly 
insist on the necessity of rigorous exactness\ Many of 
these may be due as much to want of care as to want of 
scholarship. Sometimes, however, they lead to serious 
consequences ; and in one place an inattention to gram- 
mar has led the author to charge those who do not feel 
at liberty to disregard the fundamental laws of oblique 
construction with 'a falsification of the text' (ii. 329, f). 

It follows almost as a necessary consequence that a 
want of grammatical accuracy leads to a want of accuracy 
in statement. The author of Supe7iiatural Religion 

^ Two examples from Greek and 'vaileth...' ii. 100, Marcion, aufer 

two from Latin will suffice: ii. 31... etiam... 'Marcion also re77ioves . . .' ii. 

107/ '0 irovrjpos ecrriv 6 Treipd^oiv, 6 Kai 99, Nam ex iis commentatoribus quos 

avTov 7retjodffas..."he said, 'The evil habemus,Lucam videtur Marcion ele- 

' one is tlie tempter, who also tempted gisse quem lasderet. ' For of the Com- 

' himself," as if 6 /cai avrcv ir. were 'w^w/rt^rj whom we possess, Marcion 

part of the quotation, ii. 46 eTrei odv ' seems to have selected Luke, which 

^5et airoKaXv^drjvai, (prjaLv, riixas ra * he mutilates.'' Such blunders ought 

T^Kva Tov deov irepl ojv eaT^va^ev, not to have been made, and certainly 

^Tjaiv, T) ktIcls koX Sdivev, (XTre/cSexo- not to have been passed over in the 

jxevT) TTju ctTroK-dXur/'t;'...' when there- most cursory revision of the work. 

' fore it was necessary to reveal, he Can any one seriously have supposed 

' says, us, who are children of God, in that Bp. Thirlvvall could have so set 

' expectation of which revelation, he grammar at defiance ? 

* says, the creature grbaneth and tra- 


Strives, I cannot doubt, to be fair, but in spite of an 
ostentation of justice he falls into errors of fact far more 
frequently than an accurate scholar (as I believe) could 
do. Some of these errors I have had occasion to notice 
in the body of my essay {e..g. pp. 60 n. i, 70 n. 2, 86 n. 4, 
i5on. 4, 166 n. I, &c.) ; and not to dwell now on isolated 
passages, a few continuous sentences will illustrate the 
fault of which I speak. 

We read, i. p. 426, ' Eusebius informs us that Papias 
'narrated from the Gospel according to the Hebrew^s a 
' story regarding a woman accused before the Lord of 
' many sins. The same writer likewise states that Hege- 
'sippus, who came to Rome arid commenced his public 
' career under Anicetus, quoted from the same Gospel. 
' The evidence of this "ancient and apostolic" man is very 

* important, and although he evidently attaches great 
' value to tradition, knew of no Canonical Scriptures 
' of the New Testament, and, like Justin, rejected the 
' Apostle Paul, he still regarded the Gospel according to 
' the Hebrews with respect, and made use of no other. 
' The best critics consider that this Gospel was the 

* evangelical work used by the author of the Clementine 
' Homilies.' 

Now of these seven or eight statements, which are 
made without any reserve, only one is supported by any 
direct evidence. One is at direct variance with the 
authority quoted ; and the rest are mere conjectures of 
a small group of critics who are assumed to have a 
monopoly of right judgment. It is true that Eusebius 
says that Hegesippus quoted the Gospel to the He- 
brews, and this is all in the paragraph which I can 
allow to be true. Eusebius does not say that Papias 
narrated the history in question ^from the Gospel accord- 
' ing to the Hebrews' (see p. 71 n. i). There is absolutely 


no evidence to shew that Justin rejected the Apostle 
Paul, or that Hegesippus rejected him, or that Hegesip- 
pus made use of no other Gospel than that according to 
the Hebrews, or that he knew of no canonical Scriptures 
of the New Testament (see pp. 167 ff. 205 ff.). 

The Gospel according to the Hebrews becomes 
frequently elsewhere the occasion of remarkable asser- 
tions. For example, ii. 167: 'The Gospel according to 
'the Hebrews... was made use of by all the Apostolic 

* Fathers, by pseudo-Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias, Hege- 
'sippus, Justin Martyr, and at least employed along 

* with our Gospels by Clement of Alexandria, Origen 
'and Jerome, whilst Eusebius is in doubt whether to 
' place it in the second class among the Antilegomena 
' with the Apocalypse, or, in the first, amongst the 
' Homologomena {sky I Here again definite statements 
are made for which partly I know no foundation of any 
kind, and partly only precarious conjectures. It is ap- 
parently quite an original assertion that Barnabas and 
Hermas (for if these are not meant, ' all the Apostolic 

* Fathers ' must be a periphrasis for Clement of Rome) 
and Polycarp used this Gospel : Papias, as we have 
shewn, if we may trust Eusebius, certainly did not use 
it : and there is nothing to shew that Clement of Rome 
or Justin Martyr did. If it is implied (and nothing less 
will serve the argument) that ' Clement of Alexandria, 
'Origen, and Jerome' placed it on the same footing as 
the four Gospels, the statement is palpably false. And 
Eusebius neither states nor implies that he had ever 
any thoughts of placing it in ' the first class.' 

■ We may take an illustration of another kind. It is 

^ The reference in the next sen- recollection of some French critic 

tence to the Gospel of Peter as used than of Eusebius (Twcrcrcs, H.E. vi. 

'in the Church of Rhosse ' {sic, and 12). 
a^^ain p. 161) seems to be rather a 


stated by anticipation (i. 244), as the result to be after- 
wards established, * that all the early writers avoid our 
' Gospels, if they knew them at all, and systematically 

* make use of other works.' Now I submit that even if 
the author had established all which he afterwards asserts, 
this statement would convey a perfectly false impression 
to the reader. Is it true that 'all the early writers' 
make use of Apocryphal Gospels ? We read afterwards : 

* [The Shepherd of Hermas] has no quotations from the 

* Old or New Testament ' (i. 262) : and again of the 
evangelic references of Polycarp, * in no case is there 

* any written source indicated from which these passages 
*are derived' (i. 286): of the Epistle to Diognetus, 'it is 
' admitted that it does not contain a single direct quo- 

* tation from any evangelical work' (ii. 40) : of Dionysius 
of Corinth, on the supposition that he referred to 
Gospels, ' we have no indication whatever what evan- 
'gelical works were in the Bishop's mind' (ii. 167): of 
Melito, that he might have been ' passed over alto- 
' gether,' so far as any references to the Gospels are 
concerned (ii. 172, 181): of the fragments of Claudius 
Apollinaris, in which the Canonical Gospels are referred 
to, that ' there is exceedingly slight reason for attri- 
*buting these fragments to him' (ii. 191). The phrase 

* all the early writers ' must be considerably modified 
when six out of the fifteen orthodox patristic authori- 
ties are set aside. But still further, is it fair to convey 
the belief that we are in a position to say anything 
whatever from the evidence of their writings of the 

* systematic ' usage of any one of the writers examined 
except Justin Martyr and (perhaps) the author of the 
Clementine Homilies } The fragments and fragmentary 
notices of the other writers, if considered apart from 
their connexion with the life of the Church, are too 

C. c 


meagre to allow us to draw any conclusion as to their 
habits of quotation \ 

At first sight it must seem strange that a writer so 
learned, and in design so just, as the author of Super- 
natural Religioit can make such statements as I have 
quoted, but it is not difficult to see the reason. He is far 
more familiar, unless I am mistaken, with some modern 
German and Dutch speculations on the Gospels and early 
Church history, than with the New Testament itself"* 

■^ Sometimes the author shews un- dTroypa^T} TrpooTrj iyivero, which can- 
consciously that his mode of argu- not be so translated [nor indeed can 
ment proves too much. Thus when the common readin<^]. (Marcion reads 
he has noticed the fact that * the in Luke xi. 2) ' iXderu) to dyiov vvev^ 
' pseudo-Ignatius ' does not refer (by ' /xd aov €<p' i]fxas instead of ayia- 
name) to St John he adds in a note : ' adijTij} to 6uo/j.a aov. The fornier is 
' Indeed in the universally repu- * recognized to be the true original 
' diated Epistles, beyond the fact ' reading... We are therefore indebted 
'that two are addressed to John... 'to Marcion for the correct versions 
'the only mention of him is...' (ii. ' even of " the Lord's Prayer." ' (ii. 
430). But I can hardly suppose that 126.) The reading of Marcion is most 
he would argue from this that the uncertain, and on the other hand it 
writer of these confessedly late Epi- is known that the words in question 
sties did not know St John as *the were substituted {e.^. by Gregory of 
' disciple whom Jesus loved ' and as Nyssa) for iXO^TO) i] ^aaiXeia aov. 
the author of the fourth Gospel. {c) As to interpretation. The na- 

2 One or two examples of grave tural fear of Martha (John xi. 39) 
inaccuracy as to the letter of the New lends no support whatever to the 
Testament may be given to justify statement that the Evangelist de- 
my statement : scribes ' the restoration to life of a 

(a) Ks, \o contents. 'The assump- 'decomposed human body' (i. 42, 

' tion that the disciple thus indicated cf. 37). 'The reading of Luke,' 

' is John rests principally on the fact to yevvu>^^vov dyiov KXr^driaeTai vlos 

'that. ..and also that he only ottce 6eov, translated 'that holy thing 

' distinguishes John the Baptist by ' which shall be born of thee shall be 

'the appellation 6 ^airTiar-qs...'' (ii. 'called...' is said (ii. 67) to 'present 

423). St John ;/^z'd?r uses the phrase 'an important variation' from the 

yo/m the Baptist. reading of Basilides to yevvooixevov iK 

'There is no instance w^hatever croO aVov /cXT/^-^o-erai, translated ' the 

' that we can remember, in which ' thing begotten of thee shall be called 

*a writer [of the New Testament] ' holy, ' as if there were any difficulty 

' claims to have himself performed in taking dyioy as the predicate in 

* a miracle' (i. 191). Can the writer St Luke. 

have forgotten Rom. xv. 195 2 Cor. The whole discussion on the in- 

xii. 12 ? ternal character of the Gospel of St 

{d) As to text. 'This census was John (ii. 415 if.) abounds with errors 

' first made . . . Luke ii. 2 ' (i. 311). The of this kind, and is, I must not shrink 

true reading is without doubt avTrj from saying, more inaccurate and 


and the writings of the Fathers. Hence it is that he 
gives plausible conjectures as certain facts. Thus, with- 
out one word of caution, and (as I think) in direct con- 
tradiction to the evidence, he says that ' Ebionitic 
' Gnosticism' was ' once the purest form of primitive 
' Christianity' (ii. 4), that 'John as well as Peter belonged 
' to the Ebionitic party' {y\. 407), that 'Justin Martyr 
' became a convert to Christianity strongly tinged with 
'Judaism' (i. 289), that 'it is clear that Paul is referred to 
'in Apoc. ii. 2' (ii. 408), and so on. He has consequently 
little patience even to attempt to understand the posi- 
tion of those from whom he differs. Their opinions 
are set down in perfect sincerity as 'absurd' and 'pre- 
'posterous,' when, as I must still believe, the 'absurdity' 
lies in the attempt to construct a history of the Christian 
Church out of a few isolated fragments interpreted by 
a false assumption as to the character of the Gospel of 

This fault appears to me to characterize the fatal 
defect — for so I must call it — of the critical investiga- 
tions of the author of Supernatural Religion. They are, 
to sum up all in a word, wholly unhistorical. They are 
conducted without any regard to the specific nature of 
the evidence which is available ; without any realization 
of the facts of the Christian life ; and, I will venture 
to add, without any clear recognition of the historical 
problem which is under discussion. I will now en- 

superficial (if possible) even than calm and convincing discussion of 

Scholten's, on which it seems to be The authorship of the Fourih Gospel, 

based. Any one who will examine will see, I think, that I have not 

the paragraphs on the ' great many spoken too strongly. 

' geographical errors ' supposed to be ^ Much that is boldly said to be 

committed by St John (pp. 419 — 422) ' impossible,' as to the structure of a 

with the help of such a Commentary historical document, appears to me 

as Meyer's; or the entire chapter side to be quite natural: e.g. ii. pp.439 ^- J 

by side with Mr Sanday's singularly 459. 

C 2 


deavour to justify, as briefly as I can, these three general 
counts of accusation. 

I. It is obvious that nothing can be more precarious 
than an argument drawn from silence, unless there is a 
very strong presumption that the witness would have 
mentioned the fact, which he fails to notice, if he had 
been acquainted with it. This presumption must arise, 
in the case under consideration, from what is known of 
the circumstances of the several early Fathers and of the 
occasions on which they wrote. When, for example, it 
is said that 'it is a significant fact that Justin Martyr, 
' who attacks Marcion's system, never brings any ac- 

* cusation against him of mutilating or falsifying any 

* Gospel ' (ii. 143), it is clear that the 'significance' of 

the fact depends wholly upon the nature and frequency 
of Justin's references to Marcion. Now I do not think 
that any reader of this passage would obtain a just 
impression of the fact from it, or that he would rate the 
significance of the fact very highly if he was aware that 
Justin refers to Marcion (if I am correct) twice only, and 
then in such a way that he could not, without a total dis- 
regard of the subject in hand, have made any allusion to 
his views on the written Gospels. Or, again, when we read 
that the variation of Justin's Evangelic references from 
the readings of our Gospels is ' a phenomenon elsewhere 

* unparalleled in those times ' (i. 374), I am obliged to 
ask where, outside of Justin's own works, can we find a 
parallel either in point of time, or in point of style and 
substance : I can think of none. Once more : when it is 
asserted that Justin 'knows nothing of the star guiding 
'[the magi]...' because he says simply that 'a star rose 

'in heaven at the time of Christ's birth ' (i. 319), I can 

hardly believe that the same conclusion would hold of 
the writer of the well-known Epiphany hymn, 'Earth 


'hath many a noble city/ who, in describing at length 
the visit of the wise men, tells us no more than Justin as 
to the phenomenon of the star\ 

The argument in favour of a negative conclusion 
from the absence of positive evidence is invalid when 
this absence is directly or reasonably explained by the 
scope or usage of the writer ; or by the character of the 
passage from which the conclusion is drawn. When the 
explanation is direct the controversy is at an end : in the 
other cases the issue remains more or less in suspense* 
Not to dwell on these doubtful cases I will notice two 
instructive examples in which our author has neglected 
to take account of the usage and the scope of the writer, 
from whose evidence he consequently deduces results 
which are (as I believe) false, and which certainly are 
not established as he supposes. 

I. It is unquestionable that the Evangelic references 
of Justin are anonymous, and that they do not agree 
verbally with the text of our Gospels. The conclusions 
to be drawn from these two facts must depend upon the 
character of Justin's writing. From the first the author 
of Stipernatural Religion affirms (i. 303) ' that the infer- 
' ence can not only be {sic) that [Justin] attached small 
* importance to the Memoirs, but also, that he was 
' actually ignorant of the author's name, and that his 
' Gospel had no more definite superscription.' But I 
have shewn (pp. 17, ff.) that anonymous citation is the 
constant rule of Apologists. The silence of Justin as to 
the names of the Evangelists suggests no more that he 

^ The phrase 'knows nothing of the author would argue that the wri- 

appears to be used as synonymous ter of the Fourth Gospel was igno- 

with ' does not mention ' (i. i68, 313, rant of Christian Baptism, though in 

335, 337, ii. 450, 455, 464). The his sense he ' knows nothing ' of the 

usage is open to serious misconstrue- Sacraments, 
tion, for I can hardly suppose that 



was Ignorant of them than does the like silence of 
Origen and Eusebius in corresponding works. As to 
the second fact it is argued, that the supposition that 
these variations spring from a free handling of Evangelic 
materials is to imagine 'a phenomenon which is else- 
* where unparalleled in those times' (i. 374) \ But as I 

^ While these pages have been 
passing through the press I have had 
occasion to collect the references to 
the New Testament in Chrysostom's 
treatise On the Priesthood. The re- 
sult is an instructive illustration of 
the phenomena of free quotation in 
all times. Speaking roughly, about 
one half of Chrysostom's quotations 
contain variations from the Apostolic 
texts ; and these variations include 
cases (i) of repeated variation, (2) of 
the combination of distinct passages, 
and (3) of coincidence with ' the 
' Ebionitic Gospel.' It will be worth 
"while to set these down as an illus- 
trative commentary on the corre- 
sponding variations of Justin Martyr. 

I. Repeated variations. John xxi. 
15 (16, 17). Lib. II. I § 82 [6 xpto-- 
r6s] ... dLoXeySfxeyos H^rpe, (pTjcxiv, 
tpiXeis /xe; and again § 90 ll^rpe yap 
<pT]cri (piXets /J.€ Tr\€?ou to&tojv ; This 
substitution of H^rpe for llixwp 'ludv- 
vov ('Iwra) is (as far as I know) quite 
unsupported by other authorities. 
The 0iXe?s too (in § 90 at least) is an 
error for ayairq.^ derived from v. 1 7. 

I Cor. ii. II. Lib. II. 2 § 102 oiJ- 
Sets yap olSe ra tov avOpuirov d firj... 
Lib. III. 14 § 267 ^ireidr) to. tov dvdpui- 
irov ovSels oidev el fXTj... This substitu- 
tion of ovdeis for ri's yap or tls yap 
avdpiairwv is again (as far as I know) 
peculiar to Chrysostom. 

Hebr. xiii. 17. Lib. iii. 18 § 338 
7rei6eade...Kal vrrdKerey 6ti avTui... 
aTToBwaovres. Lib. VI. i § 497 ro 
ydpIl€i6€(T6e...Kai vxeiKere, otl avroi 
...aTToSwcroj'Tey. The substitution of 
8ti avToi for avroi yap is not noticed 
in Tischendorf s last edition of the 
New Testament. 

2. Combinations. Lib. II. 2 § 98 
...VTroheLKv{jf.L rods ix^poiJi S>5^ ttojs 
Xiyuiu' (pavepa 54 eari rd rrjs aapKos 
^pya, cLTivd iari, iropvda, fxoLxda, 
dKa6ap(ria,...6v/xoL, ipi6e2ai (Gal. v. 
19), KaraXaXiai, ^f/idvpKXfMoi, (pvaiuf- 
(reis, aKaTaaTaaiat (2 Cor. xii. 20), 
Kal ere pa to&twv irXeioua. The words 
of one Epistle are added to the 
words of another without any mark 
of separation, the words common to 
both forming the transition. 

Lib. II. 5 § 141 ev To&rix}, <prjaiu [3 
Xpt-fyTos}, yvibaovraL ol &v6pioiroi, 6ti 
€/jLol ecrre /xadrjTai, edv dyaTrare dXX-q- 
\ovs. The words are a free com- 
bination of John xiii. 35 and xv. 

Lib. IV. I § ^6j...&Kovaas rod XP'-^' 
TOV XiyovTos 6ti el fxi} TfXdov Kal iXd- 
\r](Ta avTo7s dpLaprlav ovk elxov Kal 
el ixrj Td (xrjfji.e'ia eiroiovv ev outo'l^ 
a fjLr]5els &XXos exoirjaev dj-iapTlav ovk 
elxov. John xvi. 22, 24. Perhaps 
the second verse is a distinct quota- 
tion, but even in that case the varia- 
tions in text are most striking. 

3. Alleged Ebionitic readings. By 
a most singular accident (shall I say?) 
Chrysostom refers to John iii. 5, using 
both the characteristic words which 
are found in Justin and the Clemen- 
tines : Et yap ov Swarat ris elaeXOeiv 
fis Trju ^aaCkeiav tuu ovpavQ}v edv 
p.ii 5t' uoaros Kal irvevfiaTcs dvayev- 
vrjdy (Lib. III. 5 § 187). Comp. p. 
150 and note. 

The parallels between the forms of 
variation in Chrysostom and Justin 
are thus seen to be complete in cru- 
cial instances. No one can doubt 
that Chrysostom used the Gospels 
and the Epistles of St Paul as having 


have already said, Justin stands alone ; and the only- 
possible parallel must be from his procedure in a similar 
-case. Such a parallel is actually found. Justin's quota- 
tions from the LXX. exhibit exactly the same kind of 
variations as his Evangelic references. This parallelism 
of manner (see pp. 172 f) has been carefully exhibited 
by Prof Norton and Semisch, and not overlooked by 
Credner, but I do not see that the author of Supernattiral 
Religion has given any attention to it. 

2. The conclusions which the author build's on the 
evidence of Eusebius are even less warranted by an exact 
consideration of the design of the historian than the de- 
ductions which he makes from the method of Justin. 
Eusebius states distinctly^ that he proposes to record 
any use of controverted books — books on which opinion 
had been once divided — but he makes no such promise 
as to the use of the acknowledged books. As to these 
he proposes only to notice any details of special interest. 
It follows as a natural consequence that he has recorded 
every trace known to him of the use of the Gospel 
according to the ^Hebrews — as a ' controverted ' book in 
the larger sense — while he does not, and could not, 
according to his plan, record the simple quotation of the 
Canonical Gospels as universally 'acknowledged' (comp. 
pp. 231 f.). As far as this fact is apprehended — and it 
seems to me to be quite undeniable — the whole fabric 
of the argument, or rather assertion, which the author 
of Snpernatitral Religion makes as to the 'exclusive' and 
' earlier' use of the Apocryphal Gospels by the first Fathers 
at once collapses. We meet with distinct mention of the 
* Gospel according to the Hebrews long before we hear any- 

that exclusive divine authority which the freedom which we have claimed 

we attribute to them now. His free- for Justin. 

dom, therefore, more than justifies ^ See pp. 231 f. * 


* thing of our Gospels' from the nature of the case, because 
the use of it by a Christian Father was something ex- 
ceptional and to be noted \ Such statements, therefore, 
as ' Eusebius who never fails to enumerate the works of 
' the New Testament to which the Fathers refer. . .' (i.483) ; 
and ' Eusebius [makes no mention] of any reference [to 
.' any writing of the New Testament] in the Epistles [of 

* Dionysius of Corinth] which have perished, which he 

* certainly would not have omitted to do had they 
'contained any' (ii. 164); and 'it is certain that had 

* Dionysius mentioned books of the New Testament, 
' Eusebius would as usual have stated the fact' (ii. 166) ; 
and, once again, ' the care with which Eusebius searches 
'for every trace of the use of the books of the New 

* Testament in early writers, and his anxiety to produce 
'any evidence concerning the authenticity, render his 
' silence upon the subject almost as important as his 
' distinct utterance when speaking of such a man as 
' Hegesippus' (i. 437 f.), are wholly incorrect. Eusebius 
neither does nor was likely to do anything of the kind 
here supposed. He definitely promised to do and does 
something very different. He collects notices of the use 
oi disputed hooks. It necessarily follows that the con- 
clusions which are based upon the complete misunder- 
standing of his evidence that 'Hegesippus made exclusive 
' use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews' (i. 419 : cf 
438 ff.) ; and that ' it is certain that had he [Hegesippus] 
' mentioned our Gospels, and we may say particularly 
' the fourth, the fact would have been recorded by Euse- 
*bius' (ii. 320) ; and that 'many (.?) Apocryphal Gospels 
*are known to have been exclusively used by dis- 

^ The same remark applies to the scholars like Hilgenfeld and Volkmar, 

historical relation of Marcion's Gos- whom he generally follovvs, decide 

pel to St Luke (ii. 134, 139). The that Marcion's Gospel was dependent 

author justly points, out (ii. 86 f.) that on St Luke. 


'tinguished contemporaries of Justin' (i. 299), are mere 
assertions not justified in the least degree by the only 
evidence brought forward in support of them, nor, as far 
as I know, by any evidence that anywhere exists. 

II. That such assertions can be made without 
conscious unfairness, which I do not for a moment 
believe to exist in the writer whom I have quoted, 
springs from persistent forgetfulness of the fact that 
Christian literature is from the first one product of the 
Christian life : that the Christian Society, the Church, 
has lived continuously since the great day of Pentecost : 
that fragmentary writings must be always referred to 
this central truth for their due appreciation. Just those 
details which are most original and most singular will 
always occupy undue prominence among literary monu- 
ments. The work of an isolated thinker, such as was 
the author of the Clementines, may occupy perhaps 
more space than all the remains of earlier and contempo- 
rary Christian literature, but it would be idle to suppose 
that it therefore reflects the current belief The great 
stream flows on, but what we observe and portray is that 
which varies its wide and even surface. The example of 
Eusebius which we have just noticed shews most in- 
structively how exceptional phenomena naturally occupy 
a chief place in a history. No one thinks it necessary to 
chronicle what is the normal state of things. 

Now when we bear this obvious fact in mind and take 
account of the extent and character of Christian litera- 
ture up to the last quarter of the second century (comp. 
pp. 19 ff, 63 fl".), it becomes at once clear that we cannot 
hope to construct out of this by itself or primarily an 
idea of the contemporary Christian Society. But on the 
contrary if there is at that later date a fairly wide-spread 
and clear view of the constitution and opinions of the 


Church, it is reasonable to examine the earlier and frag- 
mentary records with this view as the standard of 
reference, unless it can be shewn that some convulsion 
interrupted the continuity of the development. If, then, 
there can be no doubt that at this time our Gospels were 
regarded as we regard them now, that there is no trace 
of any conflict after which they gained the position 
which they then occupied ; if their acceptance and use 
adequately explain the varieties of opinion which are 
found : then nothing short of the most certain facts can 
be sufficient to justify us in believing that suddenly, in a 
space of about five-and-tvventy years, the old Gospels 
were set aside and new books, actually unknown before, 
completely and permanently usurped their place in 
the estimation of Christian teachers. I find it quite 
impossible to realize how such a revolution could have 
been accomplished simultaneously, as far as we can tell, 
throughout Christendom. I have indeed endeavoured 
to shew how and why the idea of a New Testament, co- 
ordinate with the Old Testament, was slowly fashioned : 
how tradition and writings based on tradition were for 
some time current : how one or other book, which was 
afterwards accepted as canonical, had at first only a 
partial acceptance ; but I see no evidence to shew that 
the universal consent which acknowledged the four 
Gospels as possessed of unique authority, when from the 
character of Christian literature such a consent could 
first be shewn, can be otherwise explained, as a historical 
fact, than by a general coincidence of traditional usage. 

It is perhaps due to the natural temperament of 
German scholars, and still more to the circumstances of 
their civil life, that they should neglect what I may ven- 
ture to call the vital relations of literature. They treat 
books, for the most part, as if they belonged wholly to 


the region of speculation, and were not products and 
reflections of social activity. In place of the full variety 
and manifold conflicts of life, in place of the inconsis- 
tencies, the imperfections, the inconsequences of opinions, 
they offer us an' almost endless variety of ingenious and 
complete theories. They have, I will be bold to say, if 
I may speak generally, and with- a full recognition of 
compensating merit, an inadequate sense of proportion, 
and very little power of realizing the actual course of 
events. In this respect I am surprised that the author of 
Supernatural Religion has completely surrendered himself 
to their guidance. St Paul's doctrine of the Person and 
Work of the Lord — the Catholic Church in Europe, 
Asia, Africa, in the last quarter of the second century, 
are facts. We must so interpret the century between as 
to give a full account of both\ 

III. There is, however, great danger lest we should 
lose sight of the real point at issue by diverging to a 
discussion on the canonicity of the four Gospels. For 
Christians the Gospels have their special religious signi- 
ficance ; but for others they are simply records of par- 
ticular facts. The truth of the facts is in this latter case 
the one question to be settled, and not any theory which 
may be or may have been held as to any books in which 
the facts, are narrated. Historic testimony is limited to 
proving the existence of a belief that such and such 
events took place. The extent, the character, the effects 
of this belief influence those who consider it, and turn 
them to belief more or less definite as the case may 

^ Perhaps I may remark here how * represented as cap^ iy^fcro in the 

little the author has apprehended ' person of Jesus, but this argument 

what Christianity professes to be. ' is equally applicable to the Jewish 

For example : ' It is quite true that ' doctrine of Wisdom, and that step 

' a decided step beyond the doctrine ' had already been taken before the 

' of Philo is made when the Logos is ' composition of the Gospel' (ii. 415). 


In this respect, then, the first three (Synoptic) Gospels 
are much more than three isolated histories. They 
represent, as is shewn by their structure, a common 
basis, common materials, treated in special ways. They 
evidently contain only a very small selection from the 
words and works of Christ, and yet their contents are 
included broadly in one outline. Their substance is 
evidently much older than their form. 

Nor is this all. The common contents of the Syn- 
optic Gospels include, to speak generally, all that is 
known from other sources of the Life of the Lord. 
The most careful search is not able to produce more 
than very few and unimportant additions to the sayings 
of Christ and to the details of His work from uncanon- 
jcal records. On the other hand, any one who will 
examine the summary which I have given of the Evan- 
gelic references in the Apostolic Fathers and Justin 
Martyr will be struck by the extent and variety of the 
correspondences which they offer with the facts of the 
canonical history. 

The phenomenon is most remarkable and contrary 
to all that might have been expected. The Lord was 
attended during His ministry by numerous disciples 
who must have retained lively recollections of countless 
scenes of His manifold labours. It would have been 
natural, to judge from common experience, that these 
should have spoken to others of what they had seen and 
heard, and that in this way a great variety of distinct 
accounts should have been formed. The only explana- 
tion of the narrow and definite limit within which the 
Evangelic history (exclusive of St John's Gospel) is con- 
fined seems to be that a collection of representative words 
and works was made by an authoritative body, such as 
the Twelve, at a very early date, and that this, which 


formed the basis of popular teaching, gained exclusive 
currency, receiving only subordinate additions and modi- 

This Apostolic Gospel — the oral basis, as I have 
endeavoured to shew elsewhere, of the Synoptic narra- 
tives — dates unquestionably from the very beginning of 
the Christian Society. One argument alone is sufficient 
to establish the fact. There can be no doubt that there 
existed in the Church from the first a Jewish party, 
which gradually became isolated as the organization of 
the faith advanced. The Church was never Ebionitic, 
but in the first stage of its formation that which was 
potentially Ebionitic was not distinguished from that 
which was potentially Catholic. As soon as these dif- 
ferences were developed common action became impos- 
sible. The selection of Evangelic memorials which found 
general acceptance among all sections of Christians in 
the second stage of the history of the Church, must 
therefore have been formed in the first. And, in fact, 
universal tradition affirms the closest resemblance be- 
tween the Ebionitic Gospel, by whatever name it was 
called owing to later revisions, and the Canonical St 
Matthew. In this way the substance of the Synoptic 
records is clearly carried up to the age of the Apostles. 

If, therefore, it were admitted that the author of 
Supernatural Religioit is right in supposing that Justin 
deriv^ed his knowledge of the words and works of Christ 
from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, I cannot see 
that his particular object would be furthered by the 
concession. He allows — it would be impossible to do 
otherwise — that this Gospel bore the closest resemblance 
in contents and language to our Synoptic Gospels. 
We read, that is, substantially what Justin believed. 
His record and ours alike reflect the primitive Apostolic 


message. The history which we have received is that 
on which the Christian Church was founded, and which 
was universally held by Christians as true from the 

There is yet another point of great importance which 
requires to be noticed. The Synoptic narratives present 
the common materials in the simplest and most original 
form. Any one who has carefully examined Justin's 
parallels with the text of our Gospels cannot fail to 
have noticed that the peculiarities of Justin often bear 
the marks of paraphrase and interpretation. No writer 
would say that, as a whole, from whatever source they 
may be derived, they exhibit an older recension of (for 
example) the Gospel of St Matthew, which still in its 
present form is probably the latest of the three Synoptic 
Gospels. So again, the few fragments of the 'Ebionitic' 
Gospels which remain offer obvious marks of a later 
revision and embellishment of common narratives. Our 
first three canonical Gospels, in a word, not only give 
the Apostolic Gospel, but give it in a form which is 
certainly purer than that in which it was found in other 
documents of very early date. Exactly in proportion 
as it can be shewn that the Gospel to the Hebrezvs is 
early, it is shewn by a comparison of their texts that 
our Gospels are earlier. 

This argument receives a striking illustration from 
the history of the text of the Gospels. It will probably 
have been observed by the reader that a small group of 
very ancient authorities, D (codex Bezae), several manu- 
scripts of the Old Latin {e.g. e, k) and the Old (Cure- 
ton's) Syriac, offer frequent coincidences with readings 
found (or supposed to be found) in uncanonical Gospels. 
These readings, from their wide distribution, cannot be 
later than the last quarter of the second century ; and 


when they are examined together they are found cer- 
tainly to be not genuine, but interpolations of the 
original texts. In other words, the readings in MSS. of 
the Canonical Gospels which offer the most striking 
coincidences with the apocryphal narratives are proved 
to be both later than the true readings, and intrinsically 
less likely to be authentic. Thus the history of the 
canonical texts themselves enables us to realize, at least 
on one side, the history of the apocryphal Gospels, and 
establishes the superior antiquity of the Synoptists. 

The Gospel of St John stands on an entirely different 
footing. It is not a recension of the common Apostolic 
Gospel, but a distinct personal record, an individual 
testimony added to the collective testimony, a review of 
the historic work of Christ made in the light of indi- 
vidual experience and with a full knowledge of the con- 
tents of the general message. St John could not indeed 
have been ignorant of what I have called (as I believe 
rightly) the Apostolic Gospel ; but, while this is so, it is 
uncertain whether he had seen the Synoptic representa- 
tions of this oral Gospel ; and, in spite of confident asser- 
tions to the contrary, I know of no evidence whatever 
sufficient to raise even a fair presumption that he used 
either these or any other documents in the composition 
of his own record. This, however, is not the place to 
enter on a discussion of the apostolicity of the fourth 
Gospel, though it was necessary to indicate sharply the 
peculiar position which it occupies in the history of the 
Gospels ; for the apprehension of the fact goes far to 
explain the character of the external evidence by which 
it is attested. 

There is still one other feature in Supernattcral Re- 
ligion which I feel bound to notice. The author, ex- 
pressing in this respect the general spirit of the school 



which he represents, assumes for himself and those who 
think with him a monopoly of 'profound' learning, of 
critical sagacity, and of the love of truth. Scholars 
who maintain the Apostolic authority of the Gospels 
are represented as advocates often insincere and con- 
stantly unscrupulous. It is either insinuated or stated 
that their object is simply to obtain a verdict, and not 
to assist in bringing to light the real facts of the case. 
If they state anything which appears to tell against 
them, the confession is extorted from unwilling wit- 
nesses. They are 'obliged to admit' (i. pp. 339 n., 421) 
what apparently they would gladly conceal : ' ...for dog- 
' matic and other foregone conclusions [they] profess 
' belief in the Apostolic authorship of [St Matthew's] 
' Gospel, although in doing so they wilfully ignore the 
'facts...' (i. 485): views which appear to me to be 
reasonable and obvious ' are adopted simply from the 
'necessities of a divine defending an unsubstantial 
' theory ' (i. 394) : they ' attempt to exclude,' with 
singular short-sightedness as it must be allowed, in- 
stances which they know there is ' great inconvenience 
'in producing' (i. 395): and sometimes (how could such 
men do otherwise .'') they fall before * temptations which 
'are too strong for an apologist' (ii. 45) : unfairness is 
so truly their characteristic that it wins for them the 
credit of 'cleverness' and 'discretion ' (i. 474 n.). 

' Apologists ' are no doubt liable to error. They 
have sometimes (to their sorrow) to confess that they 
have overrated the strict force of the evidence by 
which their views are supported in detail. But this is 
not an exceptional fault into which they only fall. More- 
over they hold a position as definite as that of sceptics. 
They interpret doubtful passages in accordance with 
the general facts of the life of the Church. They do 


not think that it is necessary to cease to be Christians 
in order to judge of the meaning of Christian docu- 
ments. On the other hand, and this is a fact which 
is usually overlooked, a critic who starts with the 
affirmation that miracles are incredible, an affirmation 
which can only be logically defended on the assump- 
tion either that there is no God, or that it is not to 
be believed that He reveals Himself, cannot approach 
the examination of records, which are records of mira- 
cles, with an unbiassed mind. He has to explain away 
the staple of their contents. He has decided before- 
hand that whatever else they may be they are not true. 
Such an antecedent decision is obviously more fatal to 
a dispassionate inquiry than the ' orthodox' belief that 
miracles are credible, and that the accounts which the 
Evangelists have given may, so far as they are histories, 
be examined by the ordinary laws of historical investi- 
gation. And not to insist further on this fundamental 
difference of standing between the 'apologist' and the 
sceptic, which appears to me to be wholly in favour of 
the * apologist,' if such an acquaintance as I have been 
able to make of the literature of the special subject of 
my Essay justifies me in expressing an opinion, I cannot 
say that sceptics are more free from * foregone conclu- 
' sions' than apologists, more patient in seeking to under- 
stand adverse positions, more accurate in scholarship, 
more guarded in inference, more modest in assertion. 
It would indeed be grievous if they were. For the 
Christian, Light and Truth, from whatever source they 
seem to flow, are identified with the Lord whom he is 
pledged to serve. To watch the Light as it slowly 
spreads over the sky till the day dawns — to gather 
reverently each fragment of Truth till the whole sum is 
completed in perfect knowledge — is the office to which 
c. d 


he is called. So far as he yields to the desire of ob- 
taining at any cost a temporary advantage, he vio- 
lates the law of his personal devotion. He has all to 
gain by a clearer and deeper insight into the founda- 
tions and structure of his faith, unless he has believed in 

It only remains for me to return my hearty thanks 
to many friends for corrections and suggestions. I 
desire especially to acknowledge the great kindness of 
Dr Ceriani, of Milan, who placed at my disposal the 
results of a fresh collation of the Muratorian Canon 
which he made, comparing the original manuscript 
twice, letter by letter, with the facsimile of Dr Tre- 

B. F. W. 


September i, 1874. 


In revising the present edition I have had the ad- 
vantage of considering many important essays which 
have been published during the last six years upon the 
subjects with which I have dealt. Among these I wish 
to name especially Bp. Lightfoot's contributions to the 
Contemporary Review^ Dr Sanday's Gospels in the Second 
Century, and Dr Abbot's Authorship of the Fourth 
Gospel, My work was completed before I had the 
opportunity of seeing Dr Charteris' Canonicity. 

In one particular of some importance I have felt 
able after a fresh consideration of the evidence to speak 
more confidently than in former editions. There is, I 
think, no reasonable doubt that the writings of Justin 
Martyr shew that he was acquainted with the Gospel of 
St John. On another point of interest additional evi- 
dence has been made available. The Latin Version 
of the Armenian translation of the Commentary of 
Ephraem Syrus on the Diatessaron of Tatian has con- 
firmed beyond question, as it seems, what I had 
ventured to present as most probable before. 

It is unlikely that I shall ever again be able to revise 
what now stands written; but in looking back over the 
work which has been spread over thirty years I cannot 
but remember with the deepest thankfulness that every 



fresh piece of documentary evidence which has been 
discovered in the interval has gone to confirm the con- 
clusions which I sought to establish from the first. Our 
errors and misunderstandings as to the earliest ages of 
Christendom spring, I believe, most commonly from 
neglecting the life which underlies the fragmentary 
records. The testimonies which can be gathered from 
the meagre remains of a limited literature are the signs 
of the life of the Church and not the measure of it. It 
is true of the first centuries, as it is true of the present 
century, that we cannot understand the history of 
Christianity unless we recognise the action of the Holy 
Spirit through the Christian Society. It is through the 
active belief that He speaks and acts still as He spoke 
and acted then, not as we should expect beforehand, 
that we can yet ' win our souls in patience.' 

Divinity School, Cambridge, 
April zoth, 1881. 



INTRODUCTION . . . . . '. . . i— 15 

A general view of the difficulties which affected the formation 

and proof of the Canon .... ... i — 4 

i. The ^<?rw«^w» of the Canon was impeded by : 

1. Defective means of communication . . . -4 

2. The existence of a traditional Rule of doctrine . . 5 
But the Canon was generally recognised at the close of the 

second century . 6 

ii. The Proof of the Canon is affected by : 

1. The uncritical character of the early Fathers . . . 8 

2. The casual nature of their evidence . . . .10 

3. The fragmentary state of early Christian literature . 1 1 
The Canon rests on the combined judgment of the Churches . . 12 

FIRST PERIOD, a.d. 70— 170. 


A.D. 70 — 120. 

The general character of the Sub- Apostolic age conservative and yet 

transitional . . . . . • • • • • 19 

The epistolary character of its literature . • . • • ■ • '^^ 

Its relation to the history of the Canon . . . . . . ib. 


Section I. The relation of the Apostolic Fathers to the teaching 

of the Apostles. 

§1. CLEMENT of Rome. 

His legendary history and office 22 

His/r^/ Epistle in relation to St Paul, St James, and St John 25 

The view which it gives of the position of the Christian Church 26 


The general characteristics of the Ignatian Epistles common to 
3,11 the shorter Epistles and consistent with the position of 
Ignatius 28 

Their connexion with the teaching of St Paul as to Judaism 
(P- 33)> aiid to the Church (p. 34) ; and with St John . . 35 


His Epistle eminently Scriptural (p. 36). Its connexion with 

St Peter, and with the /'aj/i?;'^!/ ^//j'/Z^'j' . . . -37 
The special value of Polycarp's testimony . . ... 40 


The Epistle of Barnabas genuine, but not Apostolic or Canonical 41 
Its relation to the Epistle to the Hebrews, in regard to the mys- 
tical interpretation of Scripture (p. 43), and to the Mosaic 
Dspensation 45 

Section II. The relation of the Apostolic Fathers to the 
Canon of the New Testament. 

How far their testimony was limited by their position . , '47 
Their testimony to 

(a) The Books of the New Testament, both explicit and inci- 
dental 48 

Peculiar value of this anonjmious evidence ... 49 
Free references of Clement and Polycarp . . . 49f 
They do not witness so much to written Gospels (p. 52), as 
to the great facts of Christ's Life . . . . '53 
(/3) The authority of the Apostolic Writings . . . .54 
Modified both by their position and by the gradual recog- 
nition of the Doctrine of Inspiration . • • • 55 
Still they all definitely place themselves below the Apostles 5 7 . 
Note. On the Evangelic Words contained in the Apostolic 
Fathers . . . 60 

CONTENTS, xlvii 


A.D. 1 20 — 170. 

The wide range of Christian literature during this period ... 64 
Justin Martyr the true representative of the age .... 65 

The work of the Apologists twofold, to determine the relations of 

Christianity to Heathendom, and to Judaism . . , . d^ 
This latter work to be distinguished from the conflicts of the Apostolic 

age ^1 

Christian literature still wholly Greek ; the effect of this . . .68 

§ I. PA PI AS. 

His date (p. 69). The character of Hierapolis (p. 70). 
The true purpose of his Enarrations (p. 71). 
His testimony to the Gospels of St Matthew (p. 73), St Mark 
(p. 74), St John ; to the Catholic Epistles^ and to the Apo- 
calypse . 77 

How it is that he does not allude to the Pauline writings . . 78 
[The Martyrdom of Ignatius^ p. 80, n. i.] 

§ 2. The Elders quoted by Irenceus . . , . - . . .80 
§ 3. The Evangelists in the reign of Trajan . . . . .82 

§ 4. The Athenian Apologists 83 

QUADRATUS{^.^^)z.ndARISTIDES . ... 85 

§ 5. The Letter to Diognetus. 

Its authorship (p. 86), compound character (p. 87), and date . 88 
Its testimony to the teaching of St Paul and St John (p. 90), 
to the Synoptic Gospels^ and to other parts of the New Tes- 
tament. 91 

The ' Gnostic' element in the concluding fragment . . 92 

§ 6. The Jewish Apologists 93 

The Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus : APIS TO of Pella its 
supposed author . . . . . . . . -94 


xlviii CONTEiVTS. [part 

^5 7. JUSTIN MARTYR. ^^^ 

Some account of the studies, labours, and writings of Justin . 96 

A general account of the relation of his books to the Gospels . 99 

I. The general coincidence of Justin's Evangelic quotations 

with our Gospels, (i) in facts (p. loi); e.g. (a) The In- 
fancy (p. 102), (j3) the Mission of John Baptist (p. 103); (7) 
the Passion (p. 104); and (2) in the account of our Lord's 
teaching (p. 106) both in language and in substance . 107 

II. Justin's special quotations from the Memoirs of the Apostles 109 
The quotations in the Apology (p. 1 1 1), and in the Dialogue 1 1 3 
Coincidences with St Matthew, St Mark, and St Luke .114 
Justin's description of the Memoirs compared with Tertul- 

lian's description of the Gospels (p. 114); the substance of 
what he quotes from, and says of them . . . .116 
Objections to the identification of the Memoirs with the 
Gospels: - • ■ - 

1. No mention of their writers' names . . . • 117 
Yet the Gospels are often referred to anonymously 

(p. 118), as are also the Prophets . . . .120 

2. The quotations differ from the Canonical text . . 122 
Yet their character agrees with that of Justin's Old 

Testament quotations (p. 123) ; in which he both com- 
bines (p. 123) and adapts Texts-[Note A, p. 173] . 124 

Probable reasons for many of these variations [Note B, 
P- 175] 126 

His repeated quotations 127 

The identification justified by an examination 

(a) Of the express quotations from the Memoirs . 131 
(j8) Of the repetitions of the same peculiar reading . 137 
These various readings may be classed as synony- 
mous phrases (p. 139), glosses (p. 143), and com- 
binations, whether of words (p. 145), or of forms 
(p. 146); and are illustrated by the text of certain 
Manuscripts, e.g. 

Codex D [Note C, p. 176] . . . . .149 
(7) Of the coincidences with Heretical Gospels . 151 

The differences from them are far more numerous 
and striking [Note D, p. 179] . . . . 15S 

3. The coincidences of Justin's narrative with Apocryphal 

Traditions .... ... . . . 153 

CONTENTS. xlix: 

The Voice {p. 159), a.nd Jnre a,t the Baptism (p. 160); 
and other facts and words (p. 161), which are to 
be explained as exaggerations or glosses . . • 163 
Summary of Justin's testimony (p. 165), in connexion with the 
Muratorian Canon and Irenaeus (p. 167). How far he wit- 
nesses to the Gospel of St John and to the Apocalypse (p. 168); 
and to the writings of St Paul (p. 169), especially in quota- 
tions from the Old Testament . . . . . . 1 70 

The testimony of the doubtful works attributed to Justin . 171 

4j 8. The Second Epistle of Clement. 

A Homily 179 

A Gentile writing . . . . . . . * . 180 

The peculiarity of its use of Scripture .... 181 

Apocryphal quotations . . . . . . .184 

[The two Epistles to Virgins^ p. 186 n.] 
§ 9. DIONYSIUS of Corinth, and PINYTUS. 

What Dionysius says of the preservation of Christian writings ; 
and how it bears on the New Testament . . . .188 

His direct reference to the New Testament Scriptures (p. 191), 

and coincidences of language with different parts . . 192 

Pinytus refers to the Epistle to the Hebrews . . . ib. . 

§ 10. HERMAS. 

The condition of the Church of Rome at the middle of the 
second century 193 

Its character represented by the Shepherd . . . .196 

The history of the book (p. 196), its character (p. 198), in rela- 
tion to St James (p. 199) ; and its connexion with other 
books of Scripture . . • , , . . . 200 

The Christology of Hermas in connexion with that of St John 
(p. '203). He is falsely accused of Ebionism , . . 204 


The supposed Ebionism of Hegesippus (p. 205), opposed to the 

testimony of Eusebius '.■>••. . . . . 206 
The character of his Memoirs in connexion with the Gospels 

(p. 207), and with Apocryphal books .... 209 

§ 12. The Muratorian Fragment — 

,The date of the Muratorian Canon (p. 212),, its character (p. 
213), and its testimony to the Gospels (p. 214), to the Acts 
, (p, 216}, to the Epistles of St Paul {ib.)^ and to the disputed 


Catholic Epistles (p. 218). Its omissions, which however 

admit of an explanation 219 

Melito implies the existence of a New Testament, and illus- 
trates the extent of early Christian thought . . • .221 
His Treatise on Faith [His Clavis, 226 n.] . . , .221 
Claudius Apollinaris shews that the Gospels were generally 
recognised . ... . . . . . 227 



Summary 230 

Note. On the Patristic references to books of the New Testament 

collected by Eusebius . . . . . . .231 



How far they help to determine the Canon ...... 235 

§ I. The Peshito. 

Its language, and probable origin (p. 236). Syrian traditions on 

the subject 239 

The difficulty of deciding these questions from the want of an 
early Syriac literature (p. 240). Other Syriac Versions (p. 
242 n.). The Syrian Canon . . , . . . 244 

§ 2. The Old Latin Version, 

The Roman Church originally Greek (p. 248), while Africa was 
the home of Latin Christian literature (p. 249), of which the 
Vetus Latina is the oldest specimen 250 

The existence of such a version proved from TertuUian (p, 25 1). 
Augustine's testimony on the subject (p. 253), supported by 
existing documents 255 

The quotations in the Latin Version of Irenaeus (p. 256). The 
Canon of the Vetus Latina coxnohAt,?, with that of Muratori 258 

The Manuscripts in which it is now found .... ib. 

How far its influence can be traced in the present Vulgate . 263 

Application of this argument to the language of 2 Peter (p. 265), 
St James (p. 266), the epistle to the Hebrews . . . 265 

The importance of the combined testimony of these early Ver- 
sions 267 




Tbe early heretics made no attack on the New Testament 
(p. 270) on historical grounds, as their adversaries remarked 
(p. 271), and though their testimony is partial it is progressive 272 

§ I . The Heretical teachers of the Apostolic Age. 

SIMON MAGUS, ?xA\ki^ Great Announcement . . •273 
MEN AND ER (p. 276), and CERINTHUS {ib.). Cerinthus 
acquainted with the writings of the New Testament {ib.). 
How the Apocalypse came to be ascribed to him (p. 277), 
and thence the other writings of St John . . . . 279 
The importance of early heretical teaching in relation to the 
New Testament as a link between it and later specu- 
lations 280 

§ 2. The Ophites and Ebionites. 

The rise of early sects (p. 282). The Ophites {ib.\ the Pera- 
tici and Sethiani (p. 283), of Hippolytus. What writings 
the Ebionites received (p. 284). The testimony of the Cle- 
mentines 285 

Note. The corresponding quotations of Justin Martyr and the Cle- 
mentines . 289 


The position (p. 292) and date of Basilides (p. 293). What 
books he used (p. 294) ; what he is said to have rejected . 296 

§ 4. CARrOCRATES 296 


He received the same books as Catholic Christians (p. 298) ; 
but is said to have introduced verbal alterations (p. 300), 

„ and to have used another Gospel 301 

Other Gnostic Gospels 302 


His Commentaries ; the books they recognise .... 304 

§ 7. PTOLEMJEUS 306 

§ 8. The Marcosians." 

They used Apocryphal writings (p. 308), but also the Gospels 
(p. 309), and the writings of St Paul . . . . .310 



§ 9. MARCION. 

The Canon of Marcion: the earliest known . . . .312 
His position (p. 312), and date (p. 313). What books he 

received [Note, p. 317] 314 

The text of his edition (p. 314), and the principles by which 
he was guided 31- 

§ 10. T ATI AN. 

The relation of Tatian to Marcion (p. 319). Ilis importance 320 

What Scriptures he recognises ...... //'. 

Kxi z.zco\y!\\. oi\i\^ Diatessaron 322 

Genci-al Snmmary of the First Part. 

i. The direct evidence fragmentaiy ; but wide, unaffected, uni- 
form, and comprehensive . . . . . '32 7 

ii. The authenticity of the Canon a key to the history of the 

early Church 329 

Still (i) partial doubts remained as to certain books, (2) the 
evidence is mainly anonymous, and (3) the idea of a Canon 
was implied rather than expressed ..... 333 

SECOND PERIOD, a.d. 170—303. 
• ■ CHAPTER I. . 


Three stages in the advance of Christianity (p. 335). How they 
are connected (p. 336), and the bearing of this on the his- 
tory of the Canon 337 

On what grounds the Canon of acknowledged Books rests . 338 

The testimony of (i) the Gallican Church, The Epistle of the 
Churches of Vienne and Lyons (p. 339), IREN^US . . 340 

ii. The Alexandrine Chvfrch, PANT^EUS (p. 342), CLE- 
MENT 343 

iii. The African C\imc\iy— TERTULLIA N . . .344 
All these writers appeal to antiquity (p. 346), and recognise a 

collection of sacred books . . . . . • . 348 
The Canon of the acknowledged Books formed by general 

consent . . , . . . . ..... . . 349 

II.] CONTENTS. llll 



The question of the disputed books essentially historical (p. 351), 

a Deutero-Canon no solution of the problem . . . 352 

A summary of the evidence up to this point . . . -353 

§ 1. The Alexandrine Chttrch,— CLEMENT [^. 2,$^). ORIGEN 
(P* 358): his catalogues (e<5.), and isolated testimonies in 
Greek (p. 362) and in Latin texts (p. 363). DIONYSIUS 

(p. 366). Later Alexandrine writers 368 

The Egyptian Versions 369 

§ 2. The Latin Churches of Africa. 

As to the Epistle to the Hebrews (p. 371), the Catholic Epistles 
(p. 372), the Apocalypse 373 

The Latin Canon defective, yet free from Apocryphal addi- 
tions 375 

§ 3. The Church of Rome. 

i. Latin writers —^/A^i/C/^76' FELIX, NO VA TUS . 377 
ii. Greek writers— Z>/(9A^y^/^ZS', C^i/^^ (p. 378), HIPPO- 

LYTUS 380 

§ 4. The Churches of Asia Minor. 

1. Ephesus. POLYCRATES{^.i^i\APOLLONIUS . 382 

2. Smyrna. IREN^US 383 

3. PONTUS. C^Tt'^COi^FofNeo-CsesareaCp. 385). 

The Asiatic Canon defective . . . . . . . 388 

§ 5. The Churches of Syria. 

1. Antioch. THEOPHILUS {[:.5Sg), SERAPION {p. sgo), 
PAUL of Samosata (p. 391), MALCHION {^92), DO- 

2. Casarea. PAMPHILUS . . . . . .393 

iiv CONTENTS. [part 



General connexion of the forms of heresy with the New Testa- 
ment 397 

I. Controversies on the person of Christ ... * 398 

1, Montanism 399 

3. Manichaism (p. 400). Use of Apocryphal Books by the 

Manichees 402 

The testimony of Apocryphal writings. The Sibylline Oracles, 

and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs . . . 403 

The testimony of heathen writers. Celsus, Porphyry . 4O4 

General Summary of the Second Part. 
The work of this period to construct, not define . . . 405 
The results of the former period confirmed by it . . . 407 

THIRD PERIOD, a.d. 303—397. 


The persecution of Diocletian directed against the Christian 
books (p. 411), its results . ... . . . 412 

i. In Africa. The Donatists 413 

ii. In Syria. EUSEBIUS . . . . . . .414 

The importance of his testimony . . . . . -425 



CONSTANTINE'S zeal for Holy Scripture (p. 425). The Scrip- 
ture as a rule of controversy accepted on all sides . . .428 

The use of Scripture at the Council of Nicoea 429 

[Ulfilas, 429 n.] 
.... [Greek MSS. AB K, 430 n.] 

in.] CONTENTS. Iv 

The Synods which followed this Council : 

i. ThQ Synod of Laodtcea 431 

The last Laodicene Canon (p. 432). Evidence as to its authen- 
ticity from (1) Greek manuscripts (p. 434), (2) Versions — 
Latin (p. 435), and Syriac (p. 436), (3) Systematic Arrange- 
ments of the Canons (e^.)* Result 437 

ii. The third Council of Carthage. 

The Canon of the New Testament ratified there . . . 439 
How this Canon is supported by the testimony of Churches. 

i. The Churches of Syria. 

I. Antioch. Chrysostom (p. 441). Theodore of Mop- 

suestia (p. 442). Theodoret 443 

c. Nisibis. Junilius. Ebed Jesu .... ib. 

3. Edessa. Ephrem Syrus 444 

Johannes Damascenus ib, 

ii. The Churches of Asia Minor. 

Gregory of Nazianzus. Amphilochius .... 445 

Gregory of Nyssa and Basil 446 

Andrew and Arethas 447 

iii. The Church of Jerusalem. 

Cyril. Epiphanius . . . . . . . ib. 

iv. The Church oi Alexandria. 

Athanasius. Cyril. Isidore. Didymus (p. 448). 


V. The Church of Constantinople. 

Cassian (p. 449). Leontius 450 

Nicephorus. Photius. CEcumenius. Theophylact . ib. 

vi. The Churches of the West. 

Doubts as to the Epistle to the Hebrews . . . • 45i 

The Canon of Jerome ib. 

Ambrose. Rufinus. Philastrius. Augustine . 454 

The mediaeval view of the Canon. 

Alfric (p., 456). The Epistle to the Laodicenes (p. 458). 
Hugo of St Victor (p. 462). John of Salisbury . 464 
[R. Pecock, 466 n.] 

Ivi CONTENTS. [part in. 



Various elements combined in the discussions on the Bible . .468 

The debate guided by feeling more than criticism .... 469 

§ I . The Roman Church. 

Cardinal Ximenes (p. 470). Erasmus (p. 471). Cardinal Cai- 
ETAN (p. 475). Catharinus (p. 476). The Council of 
Trent {ib.). Its decree on the Canon of Scripture (p. 477). 
SixTus Senensis . 479 

§ 2. The Saxon School of Reforviers. 

Luther (p. 480). Karlstadt ' . 484 

§ 3. The Swiss School of Reformers. 

ZWINGLI (p. 487). CECOLAMPADIUS {ib.). CaLVIN (p. 488). 

Beza (p. 490). The Reformed Confessions (p. 491). The 
Swiss Declaration of 1675 . . . . . . . 494 

§ 4. The Arminiatt School. 

Grotius . . . 495 

§ 5. The English Church. 

Tyndale (p. 497). The English Articles (p. 498). The 
opinions of the English Reformers : Jewel ; Bullinger ; 

Whitaker; Fulke 499 

Conclusion . 500 


App. A. On the history of the word Kavdov 504 

App. B. Ott the use of Apocryphal Writings in the early Church . 512 
App. C. The Muratorian Fragment on the Canon . . . .521 
App. D. The chief Catalogues of the books of the Bible during the 

first eight Centuries . ■ 539 

App. E. The Apocryphdl Epistle to the Laodicenes . . . . 580 
Index I. List of the authorities quoted in reference to the Canon of 

the New Testament . . . . , . . .585 
Index II. ^ Synopsis of the Historical Evidence for the Books of 

the New Testament . . , .588 


The truth of our Religion^ like the truth of common matters^ is to be judged 
by all the evidence taken together. 

Bp. Butler. 

A GENERAL survey of the History of the Canon 
forms a necessary part of an Introduction to the 
writings of the New Testament. A full examination of 
the objections which have been raised against particular 
Books, a detailed account of the external evidence by 
which they are severally supported, an accurate estimate 
of the internal proofs of their authenticity, are indeed 
most needful ; but, besides all this, it seems no less im- 
portant to gain a wide and connected prospect of the 
history of the whole collection of the New Testament 
Scriptures, to trace the gradual recognition of a written 
Apostolic rule as authoritative and divine, to observe 
the gradual equalization of * the Gospel and Epistles ' 
with * the Law and the Prophets,' to notice the predomi- 
nance of partial, though not exclusive, views in different 
Churches, till they were all harmonized in a universal 
Creed, and witnessed by a completed Canon\ For this 
purpose we must frequently assume results which have 
been obtained elsewhere ; but what is lost in fulness will 
be gained in clearness. A continuous though rapid 
survey of the field on which we are engaged will bring 
out more prominently some of its great features, whose 
true effect is lost in the details of a minute investigation. 

^ By * the Canon ' I understand the tian Faith. For the history of the 
collection of books which constitute word see Appendix A. 
the original written Rule of the Chris- 
es B 



Range of the 

necessary in 
relation to 

With this view it will be necessary to take into ac- 
count the intellectual and doctrinal development which 
was realized in the early Church. The books which are 
the divine record of Apostolic doctrine cannot be fitly 
considered apart from the societies in which the doctrine 
was embodied. A mere series of quotations can convey 
only an inadequate notion of the real extent and import- 
ance of the early testimonies to the genuineness and 
authority of the New Testament. Something must be 
known of the nature and object of the first Christian 
literature — of the possible frequency of Scriptural refer- 
ences in such fragments of it as survive— of the circum- 
stances and relations of the primitive Churches, before it 
is fair to assign any negative value to the silence or igno- 
rance of individual witnesses, or to decide on the positive 
worth of the evidence which can be brought forward. 

The question of the Canon of Holy Scripture has 
assumed at the present day a new position in Theology. 
The Bible can no longer be regarded merely as a com- 
mon storehouse of controversial weapons, or an acknow- 
ledged exception to the rules of literary criticism. Mo- 
dern scholars, from various motives, have distinguished 
its constituent parts, and shewn in what way each was 
related to the peculiar circumstances of its origin. 
Christianity has gained by the issue ; for it is an un- 
speakable advantage that the Books of the New Testa- 
ment are now seen to be organically united with the 
lives of the Apostles : that they are recognised as living 
monuments, reared in the midst of struggles within and 
without by men who had seen Christ, stamped with the 
character of their age, and inscribed with the dialect 
which they spoke : that they are felt to be a product as 
well as a source of spiritual life. Their true harmony can 
only be realized after a perception of their distinct pecu- 


liarities. It^annot be too often repeated, that the history 
of the formation of the whole Canon involves little less 
than the history of the building of the Catholic Church. 
The common difficulties which beset any inquiry mto 
remote and intricate events are in this case unusually 
great, since they are strengthened by the most familiar 
influences of our daily life. It is always a hard matter 
to lay aside the habits of thought and observation which 
are suggested by present circumstances ; and yet this is 
as essential to a just idea of any period as a full view of 
its external characteristics. It is not enough to have the 
facts before us unless we regard them from the right 
point of sight ; otherwise the prospect, however wide, 
must at least be confused. Our powers are indeed ad- 
mirably suited to criticise whatever falls within their 
immediate range; but they need a careful adjustment 
when they are directed to a more distant field. More- 
over, remote objects are often surrounded by an atmo- 
sphere different from our own, and it is possible that they 
may be grouped together according to peculiar laws and 
subject to special influences. This is certainly true of 
the primitive Church ; and the differences which separate 
modern Christendom from ancient Jerusalem or Alex- 
andria or Rome, morally and materially, are only the 
more important, because they are frequently concealed 

,^y the transference of old words to new ideas. 

1^ A little reflection will shew how seriously these diffl- 
culties.have influenced our notions of early Christendom; 
for the negative conclusions of some modern schools of 
criticism have found acceptance chiefly through a general 
forgetfulness of the conditions of its history. These must 
be determined by the characteristics of the age, which 
necessarily modify the form of our inquiry, and limit the 
extent of our resources. The results which are obtained 

B 2 


It is hard to 
realize the 
of the 


from an examination of the records of the ante-Nicene 
Church, as long as they are compared with what might 
be expected at present, appear meagre and inadequate ; 
but in relation to their proper sources they are singularly 
fertile. This will be seen more clearly from the exami- 
nation of one or two particulars, which bear directly 
upon t\iQ formatio7i drnd proof o{ tho. Canon. 

I. It cannot be denied that the Canon was fixed 
gradually. The condition of society and the internal 
relations of the Church presented obstacles to the imme- 
diate and absolute determination of the question, which 
are disregarded now, only because they have ceased to 
exist. The tradition which represents St John as fixing 
the contents of the New Testament betrays the spirit of 
a later age\ 

I. It is almost impossible for any one whose ideas 
of communication are suggested by the railway and the 
printing-press to understand how far mere material hin- 
derances must have prevented a speedy and unanimous 
settlement of the Canon. The means of intercourse were 
slow and precarious. The multiplication of manuscripts 
in remote provinces was tedious and costly^ The com- 
mon meeting-point of Christians was destroyed by the 
fall of Jerusalem, and from that time national Churches 

^ This tradition rests upon a mis- 
understanding of what P^usebius says 
of the relation of St John's Gospel 
to the former three [HisL Eccl. iii. 
24; cf. VI. 14, Hieron. De Virr.Ill. 9). 
The earliest trace of the narrative of 
Eusebius occurs in the Muratorian 
fragment (see App. C). 

^ This fact however has been fre- 
quently exaggerated. The circulation 
of the New Testament Scriptures was 
probably far greater than is commonly 
supposed. Mr Norton has made some 
interesting calculations, which tend to 

shew that as many as 60,000 copies 
of the Gospels were circulated among 
Christians at the end of the second 
century. Geiudnenessofthe Gospels^ I. 
pp. 28—34 (Ed. 2, 1847). Whether 
the data on which this conclusion 
rests are sound or not, it is certain 
that the production of large and cheap 
editions of books at Rome was usual. 
Compare W. A. Schmidt, Geschichte 
dcr Denk- mtd Glaubensfreiheit im 
erst en yahr)mndert...des Christen- 
thnms (Berlin, 1847), c. v. 


grew up around their separate centres, enjoying in a 
great measure the freedom of individual development, 
and exhibiting, often in exaggerated forms, peculiar ten- 
dencies of doctrine or ritual. As a natural consequence, 
the circulation of some books of the New Testament 
for a while depended, more or less, on their supposed 
connexion with specific forms of Christianity; and the 
range of other books was limited either by their original 
destination or by the nature of their contents. 

This fact, which has been frequently neglected in 
Church histories, has given some colour to the pictures 
which have been drawn of the early divisions of Christians. 
Yet the separation was not the result of fundamental dif- 
ferences in doctrine, but rather of temporary influences. 
It was not widened by time, but gradually disappeared. 
It did not cut off mutual intercourse, but vanished as in- 
tercourse grew more easy and frequent. The common 
Creed is not a compromise of principles, but a combination 
of the essential types of Christian truth which were pre- 
served in different Churches'. The Nev/ Testament is not 
an incongruous collection of writings of the Apostolic age, 
but the sum of the treasures of Apostolic teaching stored 
up in various places. The same circumstances at first 
retarded thq formation, and then confirmed the claims of 
the Catholic Church and of the Canon of Scripture. 

2. The formal declaration of the Canon was not by 
any means an immediate and necessary consequence of 
its practical settlement. As long as the traditional rule 
of Apostolic doctrine was generally held in the Church, 
there was no need to confirm it by the written Rule. The 
dogmatic and constant use of the New Testament was not 
made necessary by the terms of controversy or the wants 

1 A faint sense of this is shewn in different Clauses in the Creed to se- 
the late tradition which assigned the parate Apostles. 


which tend- 
ed to indivi- 

though not 
t.) disunite 
tJiem : 

and also (2^' 
by the exist- 
ence of a 
Rule of Doc- 


of the congregation. Most of the first heretics impugned 
the authority of Apostles, and for them their writings had 
no weight. Most of the first Christians felt so practically 
the depth and fulness of the Old Testament Scriptures, 
that they continued to seek and find in them that comfort 
and instruction of which popular rules of interpretation 
have deprived us. 

But in the course of time a change came over the 
condition of the Church. As soon as the immediate dis- 
ciples of the Apostles had passed away, it was felt that 
the tradition of the Apostolic teaching had lost its direct 
authority. HefeticJS afose who claimed to be possessed 
of other traditionary rules derived in succession from St 
Peter or St Paul\ and it was only possible to try their 
authenticity by documents beyond the reach of change 
or corruption. Dissensions arose within the Church itself, 
and the appeal to the written word of the Apostles 
became natural and decisive. And thus the practical 
belief of the primitive age was first definitely expressed 
when the Church had gained a permanent position, and 
a fixed literature. 

From the close of the second century the history of 
the Canon is simple, and its proof clear. It is allowed 
even by those who have reduced the genuine Apostolic 
works to the narrowest limits, that from the time of 
Irenaeus the New Testament was composed essentially of 
the same books which we receive at present, and that 
they were regarded with the same reverence as is now 
shewn to them I Before that time there is more or less 

1 Clem. Alex. Sh-. vii. 17, § 106, 
k6ltw hk irepl rods 'AdpiavoO toD ftacn- 
X^ojs XP^^'^^^ 0' T°-^ aipecreLS ewLvorj- 
aravTcs yey6va<n Kai fi^XP'- 7^ "^V^ 
^AvTOJvLVou Tov iTpecT^UT^pov di^Teivav 
■qXiKia^ Kaddrrep 6 BaaiXeiSTj^, kcLv 
VXavKiav eTiypdcprjTac 5i.8dcrKaXov, cos 

avxovaiu avTol, tov Yiirpov epfirji^ea' 
(bcravTws 5^ Kal OvaXevrivoP Qeodddi 
dK-rjKoivaL (pepovaiv, yuu)pi.fjios 8' ovtos 
yeyouei TLaOXov. Cf. [Hipp.] adv. 
Hccreses, Vii. 20, where we must read 
Islardiov (Clem. A1.6'/r.Vll. 17, §108). 
^ It will be well once for all to give 


difficulty in making out the details of the question, and 
the critic's chief endeavour must be to shew how much 
can be determined from the first, and how exactly that 

a general view of the opinion of the 
most advanced critics of Tubingen 
on the canonical books of the New 
Testament, and their relation to early- 
Christian literature. According to 
Schwegler they may be arranged as 
follows : 

i. Genuine and Apostolic. 
I. Ebionitic: 

The Apocalypse. 
1. Pauline : 

Epp. to the Corinthians 

i. ii. Romans (capp. i — xiv.) 
Ep. to Galatians. 

ii. Original sources of the Gos- 
pels : 

1. Ebionitic. The Gospel ac- 

cording to the Hebrews. 
St Matthew, a revision of 
this (a.c. 130 — 134. Baur, 
Ka7t. Evv. s. 609, anm,). 

2. Pauline. The Gospel adopted 

by Marcion. (Probably : 
ScliM'egler, Nachap. Zeit. 
i. 284.) 
St Luke. 

iii. Supposititious writings forged 
for party purposes. 
I . Ebionitic ; 
(a) Conciliatory : 
Ep. of St James (c. 150 a.c. 
Schwegler, i. s. 443). 
The Clementine Homi- 
The Apostolical Consti- 
Clement^ Ep. ii. 
{/?) Neutral: 
St Mark (late; after St 

Matthew: Baur, 561). 
2 Ep. St Peter (c. 200 a.c. 

Schwegler, i. 495). 
Ep. St JUDE (late, id. 521). 
Clementine Recognitions. 

2. Pauline : 

(a) Apologetic : 
I Ep. Peter (c. 115. Schweg- 
ler, II. 3). 

(/3) Conciliatory: 
St Luke(c. 100 A.c. Schweg- 
ler, II. 72). 
The Acts (same date, id. s. 

Ep. to Romans, capp. xv., 
xvi. (same date, id. s. 123). 
Ep. to Philippians (c. 130? 
id. s. 133). 

Clement, Ep. i. 
(7) Constructive (Katholisir- 

end) : 
The Pastoral Epistles ( 1 30 
— 150 A.c Schwegler, II. 

Ep. of Poly carp. 
Epp. of Ignatius. 

3. A peculiar Asiatic develop- 

ment : 

Ep. to Hebrews (c. 100 a.c. 
Schwegler, 11. 309). 

Ep. to CoLOSsiANS (a little 
later, id. s. 289). 

Ep. to Ephesians (a little 
later, id. s. 291). 

Gospel and Epistles (?) of 
St John (c. 1 50. Schweg- 
ler, id. s. 169 ; Baur, 

350 ff.). 

It will be at once evident how 
much critical sagacity lies at the 
base of this arrangement, apart from 
its historic impossibility. 

The Epistles to the Thessalo- 
nians and to Philemon are rejected, 
but Schwegler does not give any ex- 
planation of their origin. 

[Schwegler's theory has been va- 
riously modified by later writers of 
the Tubingen school, but it still re- 
mains the most complete embodiment 
of the spirit of the school, in which 
relation alone we have to deal with it.] 



ii. TheVrooi 
of tlie Canon 
is rendered 
more diffi- 

{\')hy the un- 
critical cha- 
racter of the 
first two cen- 

sheivn in the 
use of Apo- 

coincides with the clearer view which is afterwards 

II. Here however we are again beset with pecuHar 
difficulties. The proof of the Canon is embarrassed both 
by the general characteristics of the age vc\ which it was 
fixed, and by the particular form of the evidence on 
which it first depends. 

I. The spirit of the ancient world was essentially 
uncritical. It is unfair to speak as if Christian writers 
were in any way specially distinguished by a want of 
sagacity or research. The science of history is altogether 
of modern date ; and the Fathers do not seem to have 
been more or less credulous or uninformed than their 
pagan contemporaries ^ Their testimony must be fried 
according to the standard of their age. We must be 
content to ground our conclusions on such evidence as 
the case admits, and to interpret it according to its 
proper laws. 

One important example will illustrate the application 
of these principles. As soon as the Christian Church had 
gained a firm footing in the Roman Empire it required 
what might be called an educational literature; and an 
attempt was made at an early period to supply the want 
by books which received in a certain degree the sanction 
of the Church. When this sanction was once granted, it 
became necessarily difficult to define its extent and dura- 
tion. The ecclesiastical writings of the Old Testament 
furnished a precedent and an excuse for a similar ap- 
pendix to the Christian Scriptures. Both classes seem to 
have been formed from the same motive: both found 
their readiest acceptance at Alexandria. ' Apocryphal ' 

1 E.g. Clement's name is invari- by the fact that he introduces the 

ably coupled with the legend of the same story among the most tragic 

Phoenix (c, xxv.), but it does not ap- incidents \An. VI. 28). 
pear that Tacitus' credit is weakened 


writings were added to manuscripts of the New Testa- 
ment, and read in churches ; and the practice thus begun 
continued for a long time. The Epistle of Barnabas ^2.?, 
still read among the 'Apocryphal Scriptures' in the time 
of Jerome ; a translation of the Shepherd of Hermas is 
found in a MS. of the Latin Bible as late as the fifteenth 
century' ; the spurious Epistle to the Laodicenes is found 
very commonly in English copies of the Vulgate from the 
ninth century downwards ; and an important catalogue of 
the Apocrypha of the New Testament is added to the 
Canon of Scripture subjoined to the CJironographia of 
Nicephorus, published in the rjinth century. 

At first sight this mixture of different classes of books 
appears startling ; but the Church of England follows the 
same principle with regard to the Apocrypha of the Old 
Testament. They are allowed to have an ecclesiastical 
use, but not a canonical authority. They are profitable 
for instruction — for elementary teaching (crrotp^e/axji? elaa- 
joajLicr]) as is said^ of the Shepherd oi Hermas — but not 
for the proof of doctrine. And it was in this spirit that 
Apocrypha of the New Testament were admitted with 
reserve in many Christian Churches. ' They ought to be 
' read/ it was said, ' though they cannot be regarded as 
'apostolic or propheticV And evidence is not wanting 
to shew that the ancient Church exercised a jealous watch 
lest supposititious writings should usurp undue influence. 
The presbyter who sought to recommend the story of 
Thecla by the name of St Paul was degraded from his 

^ Anger, Synopsis Evangg. p. xxiv. the Epistle to the Hebrews. 
In this MS. it stands between the ^ Euseb. //. E. ill. 3. 
Psalms and Proverbs. In the very ^ Pragm. Mumt. de Canone, s. f. 

remarkable Latin MS. known in speaking of Hermas. 
the New Testament as^^{Bibl. Imp. ^ Tertull. de Bapt. c. 15. 
Paris. S. Germ. Lat. 86) it follows 


which was 
py the 
^Church, but 



But the first Christian writers — and here again the 
parallel with our own divines still holds — did not always 
shew individually the caution and judgment of the Church. 
They quote ecclesiastical books from time to time as if 
they were canonical : the analogy of the faith was to them 
a sufficient warrant for their immediate use. As soon 
however as a practical interest attached to the question 
of the Canon their judgment was clear and unanimous. 
When it became necessary to determine what 'super- 
' fluous ' books might be yielded to the Roman inquisitor^ 
without the charge of apostasy, the Apocryphal writings 
sunk at once into their proper place. There was no 
change of opinion hdre ; but that definite enunciation of 
it which was not Called forth by any critical feeling within 
was conceded at last to a necessity from without. The 
true meaning of the earliest witnesses is brought out by 
the later comment^ 

2. This fact suggests a second difficulty by which the 
subject is affected : the earliest testimonies to the Canon 
are simply incidental. Now even if the ante-Nicene Fa- 
thers had been gifted with an active spirit of criticism — if 
their works had been left to us entire — if the custom of 
formal reference had prevailed ffom the first — it would 
still be impossible to determine the contents of the New 
Testament absolutely on merely casual evidence. Ante- 
cedently there is no reason to suppose that we shall be 
able to obtain a perfect view of the judgment of the 
Church on the Canon from the scriptural references con- 
tained in the current theological literature of any par- 
ticular period. The experience of our own day teaches 
us that books of Holy Scripture, if not whole classes of 

^ In the persecution of Diocletian. 
See below. Part iii. c. i. 

- See Appendix B. On the use of 
Apocryphal writings in the early 


books, may be suffered to fall into disuse from having 
little connexion with the popular views of religion* As 
a general rule, quotations have a value positively, but 
not negatively : they may shew that a Writing wa3 re- 
ceived as authoritative, but it cannot fairly be argued 
from this fact alone that another which is not quoted 
was unknown or rejected as apocryphal. 

Still, though the use of Scripture is in a great degree 
dependent on the character of the controversies of the 
day, the argument from quotations obtains a new weight 
in connexion with formal catalogues of the New Testa- 
ment It is impossible not to admit that a general co- 
incidence of the range of patristic references with the 
limits elsewhere assigned to the Canon confirms and 
settles them* And in this way the history of the Canon 
can be carried up to times when catalogues could not 
have been published, but existed only implicitly in the 
practice of the Churches. 

3. The tfack however which we have to follow is 
often obscure and broken. The evidence of the earliest 
Christian writers is not only uncritical and casual : it is 
also fragmentary. A few letters of consolation and 
warning, two or thfee Apologies addressed to Heathen, 
a controversy with a Jew, a Vision, and a scanty glean- 
ing of fragments of lost works, comprise all Christian 
literature^ up to the middle of the second century. And 
the Fathers of the next age were little fitted by their 
v/ork to collect the records of their times. Christianity 
had not yet become a history, but was still a life. In 
such a case it is obviously unreasonable to expect that 
multiplicity of evidence and circumstantial detail which 
may be brought to bear upon questions of modern date. 

^ To these may perhaps be added tines and the Apostolical Canons and 
the original elements of the Clemen- Constitutions. 


which mtist 
be combined 
■with later 

and{-^ by 
its fragmen- 
tary charac- 



With our present resources there must be many unoccu- 
pied spots in the history of the Church, which give room 
for the erection of hypotheses, plausible though false. 
But this follows from the nature of the ground : and the 
hypotheses are tenable only so long as they are viewed 
without relation to the great lines of our defence. The 
strength of negative criticism lies in ignoring the exist- 
ence of a Christian society from the apostolic age, strong 
in discipline, clear in faith, and jealoijs of innovation. 

It is then to the Church, as ' a witness and keeper of 
' holy writ,' that we must look both for the forrnation 
and the proof of the Canon. The written Rule of Chris- 
tendom must rest finally on the general confession of 
the Church, and not on the independent opinions of its 
members. Private testimony in itself is only of secondary 
importance: its chief value lies in the fact tjiat it is a 
natural expression of the current opinion of the time. 

It is impossible to insist on this too often or too 
earnestly. Isolated quotations may be in themselves 
unsatisfactpry, but as embodying the tradition of the 
Church, generally known and acknowledged, thpy are of 
inestimable worth. To make use of a book as authori- 
tative, to assume that it is apostolic, to quote it as in- 
spired, without preface or comment, is not to hazard a 
new or independent opinion, but to follow an unques- 
tioned judgn^ent. Jt is unreasonable to treat our autho- 
rities as mere pieces or weights, which may be skilfully 
manoeuvred or combined, and to forget that they are 
Christian men speaking to fellow Christians, as members 
of one body, and believers in one Creeds The extent of 
the Canon, like the order of the Sacraments, was settled 

^ This is very well argued by ss. 305 fF. ; and in his answer to 

Thiersch in his Versuch ztir Her- Baur, Einige Worte iiber die Aecht- 

siellung des historischen Standpuncts heit der N. T. Schriften. Erlangen, 

filr die Kritik der N, T, Schrifteii, 1846. 



by common usage, and thus the testimony of Christians 
becomes the testimony of the Church. 

There is however still another way in which we may 
discern from the earliest time the general belief of Chris- 
tians respecting the Canon. The practical convictions 
of great masses find their peculiar expression in popular 
language and customs. Words and rites thus possess a 
weight and authority quite distinct from the casual re- 
ferences or deliberate judgments of individuals, so far as 
they convey the judgment of the many. If then it can 
be shewn that the earliest forms of Christian doctrine 
and phraseology exactly correspond with the different 
elements preserved in the Canonical writings, and that 
tradition preserves no trace of opinions not recognised 
in the Scriptures, and that the Scriptures consecrate no 
belief which is not seen embodied in Christian life ; it 
will be reasonable to conclude that the coincidence im- 
plies a common source : that the written books and the 
traditional words equally represent the general sum of 
essential apostolic teaching: and in proportion as the 
correspondences are more subtle and intricate, this proof 
of the authenticity of our books will be more convinc- 

Such appear to be the characteristics and conditions 
of the evidence by which the Canon must be determined. 
When these are clearly seen and impartially taken into 
account, it will be possible, and possible only then, to 
arrive at a fair conclusion upon it.- It is equally unrea- 
sonable to prejudge the question either way, for it ought 

1 This will explain how much by Apostolic tradition. The Canon 
truth there is in the common state- of Scripture and the ' Canon of 
ment that doctrine was the test of Truth ' were alike independent, but 
Canonicity. It is just as incorrect necessarily coincided in their con- 
to say that the doctrine of the Church tents as long as they both retained 
was originally drawn from Scripture, their original purity, 
as to say that Scripture was limited 


and popular 
and rites. 



to be submitted to a just and searching criticism. But if 
it can be shewn that the Epistles were first recognised 
exactly in those districts in which they would naturally 
be first known ; that from the earliest mention of them 
they are assumed to be received by Churches, and not 
recoramended only by private authority ; that the Canon 
as we receive it now was fixed in a period of strife and 
controversy ; that it was generally received on all sides ; 
that even those who separated from the Church and cast 
aside the authority of the New Testament Scriptures did 
not deny their authenticity : if it can be shewn that the 
four Gospels include, with the most trifling exceptions ^ 
all that has been preserved of the Life and Teaching 
of Christ, and that they adequately explain what is 
known of the other forms in which these were repre- 
sented : if it can be shewn that the first references to 
the Canonical Books are perfectly accordant with the 
express decisions of a later period ; and that there is no 
trace of the general reception of any other books : if it 
can be shewn that the earliest forms of Christian doctrine 
and phraseology exactly correspond with the different 
elements preserved in the New Testament; it will surely 
follow that a belief in the authority of the books of the 
New Testament so widely spread throughout the Chris- 
tian body, so deeply rooted in the inmost consciousness 
of the Christian Church, so perfectly accordant with all 
the facts which we do know, can only be explained by 
admitting that they are genuine and Apostolic, a written 
Rule of Christian Faith and Life. 

The whole history of the formation of the Canon of 
the New Testament may be divided into three periods. 
Of these the first extends to the time of Hegesippus 

^ These are collected in the Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, 
Ap. C. 



(a.d. 70 — 170) ; the second to the persecution of Diocle- 
tian (a.D. 170-^303); and the last to the third Council 
of Carthage (a,D. 303 — 397), Later speculations on the 
question in part belong mor-e properly to special intro- 
ductions to the different books, and in part are merely 
the perpetuation of old doubts. But each of these 
periods marks some real step in the progress of the 
work. The first includes the period of the separate cir- 
culation and gradual collection of the Sacred Writings : 
the second completes the history of their separation 
from the mass of ecclesiastical literature : the third com- 
prises the forriial ratification of the current belief by the 
authority of councils. 

Something has been already said of the various diffi- 
culties which beset the inquiry, especially during the first 
period. An examin action of the testimony of Fathers, 
Heretics, and Biblical Versions, will next shew how far 
it can be brought to a satisfactory issue. 




A.D. 70—170. 



Ep. ad Diognetum. 


A.D. 70 — 120. 

Heaven lies about us in our infancy. 


THE condition of the Church immediately after the 
ApostoHc age was not such as to create or require 
a literature of its own. Men were full of that anxious 
expectation which always betokens some critical change 
in the world ; but the elements of the new life were not 
yet combined and brought into vigorous operation \ 
There was nothing either within or without to call into 
premature activity the powers and resources which were 
still latent in the depths of Christian truth. The autho- 
ritative teaching of Apostles .was fresh in the memories 
of their hearers. That first era of controversy, in which 
words are fitted to the ideas for which they are after- 
wards substituted, had not yet passed by. The struggle 
between Christianity and Paganism had not yet assumed 
the form of an internecine war^ The times were con- 
servative, not creative. 

^ The well-known passages of Vir- 
gil {Ed. IV.), Tacitus {Hist. v. 13), 
and Suetonius ( Vesp. c. 4), express 
this feeling in memorable words. 
Percrebuerat Oriente toto, says the 
last writer, vetus et constans opinio 
esse htfatis ut eo tempore Judced pro- 
fecti rerum potirentur. The year of and his references, 
which he speaks is A.D. 67, the most 

probable date of the martyrdom of 
St Paul. 

^ Christianity as yet appeared to 
strangers only as a form of Judaism, 
even where St Paul preached, and 
consequently was a religio licita. Cf. 
Gieseler, Kirchengeschichte, I. 106, 

Chap. i. 

The sub- ap 
static age 

C 2 



Chap. i. 

and transi- 

Its litera- 
ture alt 

. \ 

The evidence 
of the Apo- 
stolic Fa- 
thers /or the 

direct and 

But in virtue of this conservatism the sub-apostolic 
age, though distinguished, was not divided from that 
which preceded it. It was natural that a break should 
intervene between the inspired Scriptures and the 
spontaneous literature of Christianity, between the 
teaching of Apostles and the teaching of philosophers ; 
but it was no less natural that the interval should not 
be one of total silence. Some echoes of the last age 
still lived: some voices of the next already found ex- 
pression. In this way the writings of the Apostolic 
Fathers are at once a tradition and a prophecy. By 
tone and manner they are united to the Scriptures; 
for their authors seem to instruct, and not to argue; and 
at the same time they prepare us by frequent exagge- 
rations for the one- sided systems of the following age. 

The form of the earliest Christian literature explains 
its origin and object. The writings of the first Fathers 
are not essays, or histories, or apologies, but letters*- 
They were not impelled to write by any literary motive, 
nor even by the pious desire of shielding their faith from 
the attacks of its enemies. An intense feeling of a new 
fellowship in Christ overpowered all other claims. As 
members of a great household — as fathers or brethren — 
they spoke to one another words of counsel and warning, 
and so found a natural utterance for the faith and hope 
and love which seemed to them the sum of Christian 

With regard to the History of the Canon the Apostolic 
Fathers occupy an important place, undesignedly it may 
be, but not therefore the less surely. Their evidence in- 
deed is stamped with the characteristics of their position, 
and implies more than it expresses; but even directly they 
say much. Within the compass of a few brief letters they 

1 Cf. Mohler, Patrologic, s. 50. 




shew that the writings of the Apostles were regarded 
from the first as invested with singular authority, as 
the true expression, if not the original source, of Chris- 
tian doctrine and Christian practice. And more than 
this : they prove that it is unnecessary to have recourse 
to later influences to explain the existence of peculiar 
forms of Christianity which were coeval with its recep- 
tion in the world. In a word, they mark the beginnings 
of a written Canon, and establish the permanence of the 
elen:)ents of the Catholic faith. 

The latter point must be examined with care; for it is 
very needful to notice the proofs of the cor^tipuity of the 
representative forms of Christian doctrine at a time when 
it has been supposed to have undergone strange changes. 
Many have rightly perceived that the reception of the 
Canon implies the existence of one CathoHc Church ; and 
conversely, if we can shew that the distinct constituents 
of Catholicity were found in Christendom from the first 
age, we confirm the authenticity of those books which 
severally suggest and sanction them. It is true that these 
different types of teaching are at times arbitrarily expand- 
ed in the uncanonic^l writings without any regard to their 
relative importance, but still they are essentially un- 
changed; and by the help of patristic deductions we may 
see in what way the natural tendencies which give rise to 
opposing heresies are always intrinsically recognised in the 
teaching of the universal Church. The elements of Holy 
Scripture are so tempered that though truly distinct 
they combine harmoniously; elsewhere the same elements 
are disproportionately developed, and in the end mutu- 
ally exclude each other\ 

^ In studying the writings of the 
early Fathers much help may be 
gained from the following works (in 
addition to the Church histories), by 

which I have sought to try and to 
correct my own views: ROTHE (R.) 
Die Anfiinge d. Christlichen Kirche 
...1837. MoHLER (J. A.) Patrologie, 



in their pre- 
servation of 
the Apostolic 
types of doc 

thotigh often 
in aft exag- 



Sect. I. The Relation of the Apostolic Fathers 
TO the Teaching of the Apostles. 

§ I. Clement of Rome. 

The history of Clement of Rome is invested with a 
mythic dignity, which is without example in the ante- 
Nicene Church\ The events of his life have become so 
strangely involved in consequence of the religious ro- 
mances which bear his name, that they must remain in 
inextricable confusion; and even apart from this, there 
can be little doubt that traditions which belong to very 
different men were soon united to confirm the dignity of 
the successor of St Peter^ There is however no reason 
to question the belief that he was an immediate disciple 
of the Apostles, and overseer of the Church of Rome^; 
but beyond this all is doubtful*. It is uncertain whether 
he was of Jewish or heathen descent^: he is called at one 

Regensburg, 1840. Schliemann 
(A.) Die Cleme7ttineit, Hamburg, 
1844. DoRNER (J. A.) Die Lehre 
von der Person Christi, Stuttgart, 
1845—53. ScHWEGLER (A.) Das 
nachapostolische Zeitalter, Tubingen, 
1846. Lechler (G. V.) Das apo- 
stolische und nachapostolische Zeit- 
alter, Haarlem, 1851, 2te Aufll. 1857. 
RiTSCHL, Die Entstehung der alt- 
katholischen Kirche^ 2te Aufl., Bonn. 
1857. Hilgenfeld (A.) Die apo- 
stolischen Viiter, Halle, 1853. Reuss 
(E.) Histoire de la Theologie Chre- 
tienne ati iiiecle Apostolique, 2 me Ed. 
i860. Lange (J. P.) Das aposto- 
lische Zeitalter... 1854. Donald- 
son (J.) A Critical History of Chris- 
tian Literature and Doctrine... No\. i. 

1 Cf. Schliemann, 118 ff. 

^ For instance, he was identified 
with Flavius Clemens, a cousin of 
Domitian, who was martyred at 

Rome. Schliemann, 109. Compare 
Lightfoot, Clement of Rome ^^\>. 264 
ff., for the connexion of Clement with 
the imperial household. 

3 Iren. c. Hccr. iii. 3 (Euseb. H.E. 
v. 6), Tpirq: Tdiru) dirb tQv diroaroXiov 
TriveiTiaKOTrriv (of the Roinan Church) 
KXr)povraLK\rjiJ.T]S, 6 koL ewpaKws roi/s 
fMiKapLovs dirocrToXovs koL (rufJi^ejSXTj- 
Kihs avTocs Kal ^TL ivavXov rb Kr)pvy/J.a 
tGiv dTTOCFToXwv Kul TTjv TTapabodiv 
irpb 6(pdaXfxGiv e%wj' ov ixovc^, 'in yap 
iroXXol VTreXeiTTOUTO Tore vwo rCov diro- 
(TToXuiv dediday ixeuoL. The passage is 
a singular testimony to the intense 
vividness of the impression produced 
by the Apostolic preaching and to 
the multiplicity of personal evidence 
by which it was attested. 

4 The various traditions are dis- 
cussed with great candour in Do- 
naldson, I. pp. 90 ff. 

^ The former alternative seems to 
be supported by his Epistle not so 




time the disciple of St Paul, and again of St Peter*: the 
order of his episcopate at Rome is disputed'^; and yet, 
notwithstanding these ambiguities, it is evident that he 
exercised a powerful and lasting influence. In fact, he 
lost his individuality through the general acknowledg- 
ment of his representative character in the history of the 

Writings which were assigned to the authorship of 
Clement gained a wide circulation in the East and West. 
Two Epistles to Virgins were published in a Syriac 
translation under his name by Wetsteinl The Cle- 
mentines, in spite of their tendency, remain entire, to 
represent the unorthodox literature of the first ages^ 
The Canons and Constitutions which claim his authority 
became part of the law-book of Christians^ Two Greek 
epistles, professing to be his, are appended to one of the 
earliest manuscripts of the Bible in existence^ 

The historical position of Clement is illustrated by the 

much by the manner in which he 
speaks of the Patriarchs as ^ our 
Fathers' (cc. 4, 31, 55) as by his 
familiar knowledge of the Old Testa- 
ment in the LXX version : the latter 
is adopted in the Clementines, and 
maintained by Hefele, Patrr. App. 
xix. ff. Comp. Lightfoot, /. c. pp. 
id}, f., who concludes that Clement 
was 'of Jewish' or proselyte parent- 

1 The former opinion is grounded 
on Phil. iv. 3 (cf. Jacobson, adClei7i. 
vit. not. b) ; the latter is found in 
the Clementines, and, from them, 
in Origen, Philoc. c. 23, and later 
writers. Schliemann, 120. 

2 The chief authorities are quoted 
by Hefele, /. c. 

3 Cf. Jacobson, ad Clem. R. vit. 
note 1. Mohler, ss. 67 sqq. Mohler 
defends their authenticity, which 
Neander thinks possible (Ch. H. u. 
441). The quotations from the New 
Testament which they contain shew 

that they were certainly written early, 
but, as far as I can judge, consider- 
ably after Clement's genuine Epistle. 
These quotations are examined be- 
low, ch. II. § 8 f. 

^ Schliemann gives a very full 
account of them : 50 ff. (the Homi- 
lies) ; 265 ff. (the Recognitions). 

^ Cf. Bunsen's Hippolytus iii. 145 
sqq. (the Canons)', ii. 220 sqq., and 
App. (the Constitutions). 

^ See App. B. In addition to the 
letters of Clement, the Cod. Alex. 
contains also three beautiful Chris- 
tian hymns, one of which is the 
Greek original of the Gloria in ex- 
celsis of our own Liturgy. Cf. Bunsen, 
Hippolytus, III. 133 sqq. Their ex- 
istence in the MS. proves no more 
than their ecclesiastical use. It should 
be added that the two epistles of 
Clement precede the addition of the 
books contained in the MS. while 
the Psalms of Solomon follow this 
total. See App. D. xii. 

Chap. i. 

assigned to 



early traditions which fixed upon him as the author of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews \ and of the Acts of the Apostles ^ 
Subsequently he is charged with a two-fold office : he 
appears as the mediator between the followers of St Paul 
and St Peter, and as the lawgiver of the Church. Thus 
his testimony becomes of singular value, as that of a 
man to whom the first Christian society assigned its 
organization and its catholicity. 

The first Greek Epistle alone can be confidently pro- 
nounced genuine ^ The relation of this to our Canonical 
Books is full of interest. In its style, in its doctrine, and 
in its theory of Church government, it confirms the genu- 
ineness of disputed books of the New Testament^ 

The language of the Epistle of St Peter has been sup- 
posed to be inconsistent with the distinctive character- 
istics of the Apostle. Now, according to the most probable 
accounts, Clement was a follower of St Peter; and the 
tone of his Epistle agrees with that of his master in ex- 
hibiting the influence of St Paul. This influence extends to 
peculiarities of language. Sometimes Clement uses words 

^ On the authority of Origen, ap. 
Euseb. H.E. vi. 25. 

2 Photius (quoted by Credner, 
Einleit. 271) mentions this tradi- 

3 Schwegler — following some ear- 
lier writers — has called in question 
the genuineness of the letter without 
any good ground {I^achap. Zeit. 1 1. 
125 sqq.). He has been answered 
by Bunsen, Ritschl, and others. Cf. 
Lechler, Apost. Zeit. 309 n. 

Its integrity appears to be as un- 
questionable as its genuineness. Few 
critics of any school would endorse 
the statement : * there can be no 
' doubt that the Epistle is much inter- 
' polated.' {Siipernat. Rel. I. 227.) At 
the close of c. 57 a lacuna occurs in 
the MS. ' One leaf, and one leaf 

'only of the MS. has disappeared.' 
(Lightfoot, The Epistles af Cletneni, 
pp. 166, 23.) 

The second Epistle is probably 
part of a homily, but this writing 
will be examined afterwards. 

[The discovery of a second MS. 
of the complete text of the ' Epistles ' 
at Constantinople, and of a Syriac 
version of them, now in the Univer- 
sity Library at Cambridge, conforms 
with the above statements. See 
Lightfoot, I.e., 1880.] 

^ The date of Clement's letter is 
disputed, for it depends on the order 
of his Episcopate. Hefele (p. xxxv.) 
places it at the close of the persecu- 
tion of Nero (a.d. 68 — 70). The later 
date (circ. 95) seems more probable. 




found only in St Peter's Epistles: more frequently those 
common to St Peter and St Paul ; while his verbal coinci- 
dences with St Paul are both numerous and striking^ 

Again, the Epistle of Clement takes up a catholic 
position in the statement of doctrine, which shews that 
the supplementary views contained in the New Testa- 
ment had in his time been placed in contrast, and now 
required to be combined. The theory of justification is 
stated in its antithetical fulness. The same examples are 
used as in the Canonical Epistles, and the teaching of 
St Paul and St James is coincidently affirmed. * Through 
'faith and hospitality (Sta itLgtiv koI (fxXo^eviav) a son was 
' given to Abraham in old age, and by obedience {Be 
^■uiraKorj^) he offered him a sacrifice to God.' ^Through 
* faith and hospitality Rahab was saved {iacoOr}^)' ' We 
'are not justified by ourselves (Bo' eavTGdu)... nor by works 
' which we have wrought in holiness of heart, but by our 
'faith (Bt,a rrj^ Tr/o-rea)?), by which Almighty God justified 
' all from the beginning of the world I' Shortly afterwards 
Clement adds in the spirit of St James ' Let us then 
' work from our whole heart the work of righteousness*.' 
And the same tenor of thought reappears in the con- 

1 The follo^ving examples, which 
are taken from, among many that 
I have noticed, will illustrate the 
extent and character of this con- 
nexion : 

(a) Coincidence with St Peter in 
words not elsewhere found ii^ 
the Epp. or PP. App. : 
dyadoTToua — dSe A06ti;s — ttoI- 
fj^vLov. (Perhaps no more.) 

(/3) With St Peter and St Paul : 
ayadrj crvvei8r](^t,s — ayt.a(Xfjt,6s — 
eiXiKpivT^s — evai^eta — evvpoa-- 
ScKTos — TaTreLvoippoavvri — vwa- 
KOTj — virocpepeLP — <pt\ade\<pla — 
(piXo^epia, ^lXo^cvos. 

(7) With St Paul: 

dfieTafi^XrjTOS — eyKpareveadai 
—XeiTOvpyos, \eLTovpyla, Xei- 
TOvpyeTv — fiaKapLap-ds — oiKTip- 
fxoi — TroXcT€ia,TroXLT€V€LP (used 
by Polyc. ) — a^p-vos, aep^vorrji — 

(5) Peculiar to Clement : 

a/iKia — aXXoLovv —aTrovot,a — 
^QvX7)(ns — UeTeveiv — KaXXovrj 
— p^iapos — p.vaap6s — irap.p.eye- 
d-^s — iravdyios — iramperos. 
- cc. X., xii. Cf. Lightfoot, Ep. to 
Galatians,\)^. 151 ff. 

2 c. xxxii. The distinction sug- 
gested between the Jinal cause and 
the instrument by the double use of 
5(d is very interesting. 
* c. xxxiii. I John ii. 2. 



Chap. i. 


Epistle to 
the He- 
brews — 

(y) in disci- 

in matters 
7nent, and of 

tinual reference to the fear of God as instrumental in the 
accompHshment of these good works\ 

In other passages it is possible to trace the beginnings 
of modes of thought which are characteristic of St 
John. ' The blood of Christ gained for the whole world 
'the offer of the grace of repentance^' ' Through Him 
'we look steadfastly on the heights of heaven; through 
' Him we view as in a glass (ivoTrrpt^ofieOa) His spotless 
' and most excellent visage ; through Him the eyes 
'of our heart were opened; through Him our dull 
'and darkened understanding is quickened with new 
'vigour on turning to His marvellous light^' The allu- 
sions to the Epistle to the Hebrews are numerous though 
silent, and such as to shew that the language of the 
Epistle was transfused into Clement's mind*. 

And yet more than this : the Epistle of Clement 
proves the existence of a definite constitution and a fixed 
service in the Church. And this will explain why he was 
selected as the representative of that principle of organiza- 
tion which seems to have been naturally developed in 
every Roman society. A systematic constitution, as well 
as a Catholic Creed, had a necessary connexion with that 
form of mind whose whole life was law. Thus Clement 
refers to 'episcopal' jurisdiction as an institution of the 

^ cc.iii., xix., xxi., ^c. Cf. Schlie- 
mann, s. 414. Herm. FasL Mand. 
vii. (p. 363). 

^ c. vii. virriveyKep' the use of the 
word is remarkable. Cf. Lightfoot 
in loc. 

^ c. xxxvi. Nothing but the ori- 
ginal can fully convey the exqui- 
site beauty of the last words : t? 
dcri/Veros Koi iaKOTio/JLivrj didvoia tJumuv 
dvaddWec els to davfiaarou avrov 0c5s. 
Our understanding is like a flower in 
a sunless cavern till the light of God 

falls on it. 

* The most remarkable of these 
allusions occurs directly after the 
passage just quoted (c. xxxvi.): 5s 
(Christ) wv diravyaafia rrjs fieyaXo}' 
cuurjs avTOV rocrovTCp fxel^uv earlu dy- 
yiXiov 6(Tc^ dia(popu3T€pov 6vojxa K€k\t}- 
povofj.rjKei', K.T.X. Cf. Hebr. i. 3 ff. 
Other unquestionable parallels occur 
in c. xvii. (Hebr. xi. 37), c. xliii. 
(Hebr. iii. 5), ^c. On Clement's re- 
ferences to the Lord's words, see 
p. 60. 




Apostles, who are said to have appointed those ' who were 

* the firstfruits of their labours in each state as officers 
*■ {iinaKoiTov^ kol BtaKovov^;) for the ordering of the future 
' Church\' At the same time earnest warnings are given 
against 'division and parties V which, as we see from the 
Pastoral Epistles, arose as soon as the rules of ecclesias- 
tical discipline were drawn closer. But this is not all ; for 
the times of the ' offerings and services ' of Christians are 
referred to the authority of the Lord Himself, who ' com- 
' manded that they should not be made at random, or in a 

* disorderly manner, but at fixed seasons and hours V It is 
possible that this is only a transference of the laws of the 
Jewish synagogue, which were sanctioned by the ob- 
servance of our Saviour, to the Christian Church ; as 
is indeed made probable by the parallel which Clement 
institutes between the Levitical and Christian priesthood^; 
but all that needs to be particularly remarked is that 
such phraseology is clearly of a date subsequent to the 
Pastoral Epistles ^ The polity recognised by St Paul had 
advanced to a further stage of development at the time 
when Clement wrote. 

The kind of testimony to the New Testament which 
is thus obtained is beyond all suspicion of design ; and, 
admitting the genuineness of the record, above all con- 
tradiction. The Christian Church, as Clement describes 
It, exhibits a fusion of elements which must have existed 
separately at no distant period. Tradition ascribes to 
him expressly the task of definitely combining what was 
left still disunited by the Apostles ; and we find that the 
very elements which he recognised are exactly those, 

of a prayer, which probably repre- 
sents the Form and gives some of the 
language of the earliest unwritten 
4 Id. liturgies. Comp. Lightfoot, /. c. pp. 

•^ The newly-discovered portion of 269 ff. 
the first Epistle consists in the main 





without any omission or increase, which are preserved to 
us in the New Testament as stamped with Apostolic 
authority\ The other Fathers of the first age, as will 
be seen, represent more or less clearly some special form 
of Christian teaching; but Clement places them all side 
by side. They witness to the independent weight of parts 
of the Canon : he ratifies generally the claims of the whole. 

§ 2. Ignatius. 

The letters which bear the narae of Ignatius are dis- 
tinguished among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers 
by a character of which no exact type can be foun4 jn 
the New Testament. They bear the stamp of a mind 
fully imbued with the doctrine of St Paul, but at the 
sanje tirne exhibit a spirit of order and organization 
foreign to the first stage of Christian society. In them 
'the Catholic Church ^ ' is recognised as an outward body 

1 The Apostles were charged with 
the enunciation of principles, and 
not wdth their combination. They 
had to do with essence, and not with 
form. But after the destruction of 
Jerusalem an outward framework was 
required for Christian truth: and the 
arranging of this according to Apo- 
stolic rules was left to the successors 
of the Apostles. 

2 The phrase occur? for the first 
time in Ignatius, ad Smyrn. viii, o-kov 
dv (pavTj 6 iiria-KOTTOs e/cet to TrXrjdos 
^aroj, (jiairep oirov av y ^piarbs 'Ir/- 
croGj iK€? rj KadoXtKT) iiiK\T](xia. The 
context deals Mdth the principle of 
unity centred in the bishop in each 
Church. What the bishop is tq 
the individual Church, that is Christ 
to the ' universal ' Church, Where 
' Christ Jesus ' is (and the fulness of 
the title is not without significance) 
there is the ' universal ' Church. His 

Presence is the one test of Catholicity. 

In the Martyrdom of Polycarpy 
which was written in the name of the 
Church of Smyrna (a.d. 167), the 
phrase is fqvind with somewhat 
greater latitude of meaning. This 
appears in the Salutation : ?J ^kkXtj- 
ala Tov Oeov rj TrapoiKodcra 'Zixvpvav 
TT] iKKXrjffia rod Oeov rrj irapoiicova-r) 
if ^LXofj.7)XLO) Kai irdaais raU Kard, 
irdvTa TOirov rrjs dyia$ Kai KadoXiKrjs 
iKKXrjcrias irapOLKlais iXeo% dp-qvij koX 
dydirrj- and again in the combina- 
tion... r'^s Kara ttjv oiKovfj.^prjv Kado- 
Xlktjs €KKXr]aias (cc. viii., xix.) ; and 
still rnore in the title given to Poly- 
carp as (TriaKOTTOs r?}? h H/xvpvrj Kado- 
XiKrjs eKKXrjaLas (c. xvi.), where the 
word KadoXtKTJs is exchanged for 
sajictfB in the old Latin Version. 

In these passages there is a tend- 
ency towards two distinct concep- 
tions of that Catholicity of which 




of Christ made up of many members. The image which 
St Paul had sketched is there reaHzed and filled up with 
startling boldness. The Church polity of the Pastoral 
Epistles seems dim and uncertain when compared with 
the rigid definitions of these later writings. But in this 
lies their force as witnesses to our Canon. They pre- 
suppose those Epistles of St Paul which have seemed 
most liable to attack ; and on the other hand they 
exhibit exactly that form of doctrine into which the. 

the Presence of Christ is the essential 
sign, the one external and regarding 
the extension of the Church through- 
out the whole world, the other internal 
and marking a characteristic of each 
part of the Society in itself. Speaking 
broadly, we may say that we can 
find in them the germs of the local 
and dogmatic ideas of catholicity 
which at a later time were well ex- 
plained by Cyril of Jerusalem : KaQo- 
Xikt; ixkv ovv KaXelraL [t) iKK\7]cria] did 
t6 Kard Trdcrrjs elvai ttjs oiKoujj-^vrjs 
dirb Trepdrwv yijs ews TrepaTCjJV /cat 5td 
t6 diddcFKeiv /ca^oXt/cws Kal dveWenriios 
airavTa rd els ypdaiv dvdpdbirwv iXdeiu 
6<f>d\ovTa doyfiara... {Catech. xviii. 


These two ideas though finally di- 
vergent are capable of being traced 
back to the same source; or rather 
they were necessarily evolved in due 
succession by the historic progress of 
Christianity, .through its claim to 
universality. At first the Christian 
.Church was contemplated in contrast 
with the Jewish Church: a society 
with no limits of race or nation in 
contrast with one confined to a cho- 
sen people. And next a contrast 
arose between Christian societies 
themselves, as this claimed to follow 
the teaching of one Apostle and that 
of another, while a third treasured 
up with equal reverence all the vari- 
ous forms of Apostolic teaching. The 
true Church was Catholic as opposed 
equally to what was special and to 
wliat was partial. 

As the opposition between Chris- 
tianity and Judaism became less 
keen, the universal extension of the'> 
Christian Church was interpreted in 
a merely local sense, and ' catholic'- 
became practically synonymous wi 
locally universal, in which sense the 
title is constantly interpreted by Au- 
gustine, as for instance : Ipsa est 
enim ecclesia catholica ; unde KaQo- 
Xi/c^ Grsece appellatur, quod per to- 
tum orbem terrarum diffunditur. E- 
pistt lii. I. Comp. cxl. 43. 

But it is in the sense of universal 
as opposed to' partial that the term 
'Catholic' is of vital importance in 
the history of the Church, In this 
respect Catholicity is the ecclesiasti- 
cal correlative to the whole sum of 
the Holy Scripture^ Old and New, 
and the protest against all exclusive- 
neas, whether of Ebionites, or Mar- 
cionites, or Donatists — the earliest 
types of legalism, rationalism, and 
puritanism, if we may venture to 
translate the names into general terms. 

It may be added that it is remark- 
able that the epithet 'Catholic,' which 
in later times the Latin Church has 
appropriated to herself, is not applied 
to the Church in the Western Creeds 
till the 7th (or perhaps the 6th) cen- 
tury. On the other hand it is found 
almost universally in the Eastern 
Creeds (Heurtley, Hartn. Symbol. 
p. 143). Pearson has given a veiy 
rich collection of passages illustrating 
the usage of the word : On the Creed, 
Art. ix. 


explicable by 
the linage 
which St 
Paul applies 
tothe Church 
(Eph. vi.), 



principles of St Paul would naturally be reduced by a 
vigorous and logical teacher presiding over the central 
Church of Gentile Christendom, ' the anti-pole of Jeru- 
' salem/ and there brought into contact with the two rival 
parties within the Church, as well as with the different 
heresies which had been detected and condemned by 
St John\ 

It is unnecessary to enter here into the controversy 
which has been raised about the Ignatian Epistles ^ If 
any part of them be accepted as genuine, our argument 
holds good : for it is drawn from their general character. 
After they have been reduced within the narrowest limits 
which are justified by historical criticism, they still shew 
a clear and vivid individuality, a character which, how- 
ever different from the popular idea of a disciple of 
St John, appears to be not unsuited to the early Bishop 
of Antioch. Its very distinctness has suggested doubts 
of its authenticity ; but even at the first view it seems to 
be one far more likely to have been imitated than in- 
vented. The exaggerations of the copy bring out more 
clearly the traits of the original. It would have been 
difficult, if not impossible, for a later writer to have 
imagined Ignatius, as he appears in the letters, zealous 
against Docetic heresies, Jewish traditions, and indivi- 
dual schism : keenly alive to the very dangers, and those 
only, with which he must have contended at Antioch. 
But when the character was once portrayed it offered a 

1 Cf. Dorner, i. 144 sqq. 

2 Hefele gives a fair summary of 
the controversy. It is but right to 
confess that the more carefully I 
have studied the shorter recension 
the more firmly I am convincf^d that 
it proceeds entirely from one mind 
and one pen. The most startling 
peculiarities are those which spring 
most directly from the position of 

Ignatius. A careful and minute ex- 
amination of the language of all the 
Epistles would I believe bring the 
question of their unity at least to a 
satisfactory close. But this would 
carry us far beyond the limits of our 
Essay. In the following pages I 
shall refer to the seven Epistles, 
marking the passages found also in 
the Syriac Version. 




tempting model for imitation. The style and opinions 
of Ignatius are clear and trenchant. He was at an early 
time looked upon as the representative of ecclesiastical 
order and doctrine in its technical details, differing in 
this from Clement, whose name, as we have seen, sym- 
bolized the union of the different elements contained in 
the Apostolic teaching. The one appears in tradition 
as systematizing the Catholic Church which the other 
had constructed \ 

The traditional aspect of these two great teachers 
harmonizes with their real historical position. The letter 
of Clement falls within the Apostolic age ; and Ignatius 
was martyred in the reign of Trajan ^ So that his letters 
probably come next in date among the remains of the 
earliest Christian literature. A comparison of the writ- 
ings themselves would lead to the same conclusion. The 
letters of Ignatius could not naturally have preceded 
that of Clement, while they follow it in a legitimate 
sequence, and form a new stage, so to speak, in the 
building of the Christian Church. This may be clearly 
seen in the different modes by which they enforce the 
necessity of an organized ministry. Clement appeals to 
the analogy of the Levitical priesthood ; Ignatius insists 
on the idea of a Christian body. 

The circumstances under which Ignatius wrote, on 
his way from Antioch to Rome, necessarily impressed 

1 Popular traditions frequently the earlier date. The latest and 

embody a character with singular most thorough investigation of the 

beauty in some one trait. Thus Ig- question by Zahn {Ignatius von An- 

natius is said to have instituted the tiochien, Gotha, 1873), shews that if 

custom of singing hymns antiphon- the date of the Acta (107 a.d.) be set 

ally *from a vision of angels whom aside (so Zahn), there is absolutely 

he saw thus singing to the Holy no evidence to determine at what 

* Trinity' (Socr. H. E. VI. 8) 
Bingham, Orig. Eccles. iv. 434 


pomt between 107 — 117 a.d. the 
martyrdom is to be placed. On an 

2 Pearson, followed by many later assertion that he was martyred at 
writers, fixed Ignatius' martyrdom Antioch, Dec. 20, 115, A.D., see 
in 116. Hefele and Mohler prefer the Preface. 

Chap, i. 

This charac- 
ter moreover 
suits the his' 
toHcal posi- 
tion 0/ Ig- 
natius; and 

A.D. 107. 

his lettersy 
■marked by 
itifluences of 
his time. 




forin a last 
step in the 
of the doc- 
trine of the 

his letters with a pecuhar character. It has been argued 
that they are unHke the last words of a Christian martyr, 
written on the very road to death : it should be said that 
they are unlike the words of any other martyr than 
Ignatius. They are indeed the parting charge of one 
who was conscious that he was called away at a crisis in 
the history of the Church. As long as an Apostle lived 
old things had not yet passed away ; but on the death of 
St John it seemed that the 'last times^' were at hand, 
though in one sense, according to his promise, Christ 
had then come, and a new age of the world had begun. 
The perils which beset this transition from Apostolic to 
Episcopal government, in the midst of heresies within and 
persecutions without, might well explain warmer lan- 
guage than that of Ignatius. He wrote with earnest 
vehemence because he believed that episcopacy was the 
bond of unity, and unity the safety of the Churchl 

In this way the letters of Ignatius complete the 
history of one feature of Christianity. The Epistles of 
St Paul to the Ephesians, his Pastoral Epistles, and the 
Epistles of Clement and Ignatius, when taken together, 
mark a harmonious progression in the development of 
the idea of a Church. The first are creative, and the last 
constructive. In the Epjstle to the Ephesians the great 
mystery of the Christian Society is set forth under two 
images, which include the essential truths of all latejr 
speculations. It is the Body of Christ in virtue of the 
one life which it derives from Him who is its Head; and 
it is the Temple of God, so far as it is built up in various 

•^ Ad Eph. xi. T'^s h "Zvpiq, eKKXyjcrias, tJtls olvtI 
^ This feeling is expressed with eixov ttolijAvl n^ 0e^ xp^roi. M6j'os 
touching simplicity in the Epistle to avrrju 'Irjcrovs XpLarbs e7rLcrK0Trr)au 
the Romans, which, as is well known, Kal t) vjxQiv d'yairrj (c. ix.). The pas- 
is most free from hierarchical views, sage is omitted in the Syriac Ver- 
'^Hvrjixovedtre iv ry Trpoa-evxv VjJ-lJov sion. 




ages and of various elements on the foundations which 
Christ laid, and of which He is the corner-stone. In the 
Pastoral Epistles this teaching is realised in the outlines 
of a visible society. In the later writings the great prin- 
ciples of Scripture are reduced to a system, and ex- 
panded with logical ingenuity. But when this connexion 
is traced by the help of an undesigned commentary in 
writings fragmentary, occasional, and inartificial, it surely 
follows that a series of books so intimately united must 
indeed have been the original expressions of the succes- 
sive forms of Christian thought which they exhibit. 

Though the Ignatian letters witness to three chief 
types of Apostolic teaching, one type stands forth in 
them with peculiar prominence. The image of St Paul 
is stamped alike upon their language and their doctrine. 
The references to the New Testament are almost ex- 
clusively confined to his writings. Familiar words and 
phrases shew that he was a model continually before 
the writer's eyes ; and in one place this is expressly 
affirmed \ 

The controversy against Jewish practices is conducted 
as sternly as in the Epistle to the Galatians, though its 
form shews that it belongs to a later epoch. Christianity 
is distinguished by a new name (X.pL(TTLavi(Tfjb6<;^) as a 
system contrasted with Judaism. Judaism flouSato-yLto?) 

^ The only coincidences which I 
have noticed between the language 
of St John and Ignatius consist in 
the frequent use of ayoLirri^ dyairq^u, 
and 6 ovpav6s, while St Paul and 
Clement generally use oi ovpavol. 

The words common to St Paul 
and Ignatius only are very numerous, 

e.g. ddoKifJ-Oi dva^pOx^i-v direpl- 

a-rraffros — ^Kxpcofxa — evdTrjs—drjpiofia- 
X«v — ^lovda'Ccr/xds — 6uaifj.r]v — olKOvofxia 
(met.) — (jivaiovv. 

Those peculiar to Ignatius are still 


more numerous : e, g. ayiocpopos — 
d/x^pLCTTos — dvTi\pvxov — compounds of 
a^ios, as d^tbOeos, d^iofiaKdpcaTos — 
dtrodLvXi^eadai — bpoai^ecrdaL — euovv, 
^uioorcs — compounds of deSs, as 6eo- 
dpdfios, deocpopos — KaKorexvla. — 4"^p- 
(laKov. The references are made to 
all the shorter Epistles without dis- 
tinction, whether contained in the 
Syriac or not. 

2 Ad Rom. c. iii. ^'c. This new 
name likewise comes from Antioch. 
Cf. Acts xi. 26. 

Chap. i. 

The con- 
nexioti of 
the Ignatian 
letters with 
the New 
and especi- 
ally with 
St Paul, in 
reference to 



Clmp. i. 

the Old Tes- 
tament, and 

the Church. 

is ' an evil leaven that has grown old and sour\' ' To 
' use the name of Jesus Christ and yet observe Jewish 
' customs is unnatural {aroirov'^y ' To live according- to 
'Judaism is to confess that we have not received graced' 
At the same time, like St Paul, Ignatius regards Chris- 
tianity as the completion, and not the negation, of the 
Old Testament. The prophets * lived according to Jesus 
' Christ,... being inspired by His grace, to the end that 
' those who disbelieve should be convinced that it is one 
'God who manifested Himself [both in times past and 
' now] through Jesus Christ His Son, who is His Word, 
' having proceeded from Silence'*,' from which some have 
held that Thought and Word were evolved as successive 
forms of the Divine Being, and * who in all things well- 
' pleased Him that sent HimV 

The Ignatian doctrine of the unity of the Church, 
which in its construction shews the mind of St Peter, is 
really based upon the cardinal passage of St Paul^ 
Christians individually are members of Christ, who is 
their great Spiritual Head. And conversely, the Church 
universal, and each Church in particular, represents the 
body of Christ, and its history must so far set forth an 
image of the life of Christ in its spirit and its form. As 
a consequence of this view the Bishop in the earthly and 
typical Church is not only a representation of Christ, 

1 A(f Magn. x. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ad Magn. viii. 

■* Dr Lightfoot has shewn {Jou^-n. 
of Philology, \. pp. 53 fF. i868) that 
the words dtStos and ovk in the com- 
mon text are an interpolation. 

^ Ad Magn. viii. The reference 
to Silence (21797), which forms an 
important element in Valentinianism, 
was a serious objection to the authen- 
ticity of the Ignatian letters till the 

discovery of the 'Treatise against 
Heresies.' Now it appears that the 
same phraseology was used in the 
* Great Announcement,' an authori- 
tative exposition of the doctrines of 
the Simonians, and consequently it 
must have been current in Ignatius' 
time (Hipp. adv. Hcer. vi. 18). Cf. 
B\ms&n, Hippolytus, i. 57 ff., whose 
opinion on the subject however seems 

6 Eph. v. 23 sqq. 




whom ' we must regard as Christ HimselfV and ' a par- 
' taker of the judgment of Christ, even as Christ was of 
' the judgment of the FatherV while the Church is united 
to Christ as He is united to the Father^: but also — and 
in this lies the most remarkable peculiarity of his system 
— the relation of the Church as a living whole to its dif- 
ferent officers corresponds in some sense to that of Christ 
Himself, of whom it is an image, to the Father on the 
one hand, and on the other to the Apostles. On earth 
the Bishop is the centre of unity in each society, as the 
Father is the ' Bishop of all*.' Believers are subject to 
the Bishop as to God's grace, and to the presbytery as 
to Christ's law^; since the Bishop, as he ventures to say in 
another place, ' presides as representative of God, and the 
' presbyters as representatives of the Apostolic Council^' 
The Ignatian writings, as might be expected, are not 
without traces of the influence of St John. The circum- 
stances in which he was placed required a special enun- 
ciation of Pauline doctrine; but this is not so expressed as 
to exclude the parallel lines of Christian thought. Love 
is ' the stamp of the Christian V ' Faith is the beginning, 
and love the end of life I' * Faith is our guide upward 
' {dva<y(x)'yevs:)y but love is the road that leads to GodV 
' The Word is the manifestation of God^V 'the door (dvpa) 
' by which we come to the Father",' ' and without Him 
'we have not the principle of true life^V * The Spirit 
' {TTvevfia) is not led astray, as being from God. For it 
' knoweth whence it cometh and whither it goeth, and 
* testeth (i\eyx€i') that which is hidden ^^' The true meat 


^ Ad Eph. vi. 

2 Ad Eph. iii. 

3 Ad Eph. V. 
^ Ad Alagn. iii. 
^ Ad Magn. ii. 

'' Ad Mao-n. v. ^ ^^ £pj^^ ^j^,^ 

^ Ad Eph. IX. (So Syr.) . 

^^ Ad Magn. viii. (quoted above). 
" Ad Philad. ix. Cf. John x. 7. 
^^ Ad Trail, ix. : ov x^p'i-^ t^ a\r]- 
6ivbu ^rjv ovK ^xo/tei'. Cf. ad Eph. 
^ Ad Magn. vi. iii.: 'I. X. ro oZiaKpiTov i)\xQiv ^rjv... 
1^ Ad Philad. vii. Comp. John 
iii. 8 ; xvi. 8. 

D 2 

St John. 




The scriP' 
tural cha- 
racter of 

of the Christian is the 'bread of God, the bread of 
' heaven, the bread of Hfe, which is the flesh of Jesus 
' Christ/ and his drink is ' Christ's blood, which is love 
* incorruptible \' He has no love of this life; 'his love 
'has been crucified, and he has in him no burning passion 
' for the world, but living water [as the spring oi a new 
' life] speaking within him, and bidding him come to his 
' FatherV Meanwhile his enemy is the enemy of his 
Master, even ' the ruler of this agel' 

These passages, it must be repeated, are not brought 
forward as proofs of the use of the writings of St John, 
but as proofs of the currency of the modes of thought of 
St John. They indicate at least that phraseology and 
lines of reflection which are preserved for us in the cha- 
racteristic teaching of the fourth Gospel were familiar to 
the writer of the Ignatian Epistles. Different readers 
will estimate the value of the coincidences diflerently ; 
but if once the Christian society be recognised as pos- 
sessed of a continuous life, they cannot be disregarded''. 

§ 3. Poly carp. 

The short epistle of Polycarp contains far more re- 
ferences to the writings of the New Testament than any 
other work of the first age; and still, with one exception, 

1 Ad Rom. vii. The Syriac text 
though shorter gives the same sense. 
Cf. John vi. 32, 51, 53. 

2 Ad Rom. I. c. The last clause 
is wanting in the Syriac, yet the 
boldness of the metaphor seems to be 
in Ignatius' manner. Hup ^i\6v\ou, 
'fiery passion for the material world,' 
which forms a good contrast with 
vdwp ^^u, 'living water,' is certainly, 
I think, the true reading. Cf. John 
iv. 13; vii. 38. 

^ Ad Rom. I. c: apx^v toO alQpos 
To\jTov. Cf. John xii. 31; xvi. 11 : d 

apx^v Tov Kb<Tfiov rovTov and see 
I Cor. ii. 6, 8. 

* It is scarcely necessary to say 
that Philo's doctrine of the Word is 
wholly dissociated from Messianic 
expectations. The apprehension of 
the Truth d X670S capl iyevero — 'the 
' mere application to an individual 
' of a theory which had long occu- 
' pied the Hebrew mind ' as it has 
been called with startling want of 
spiritual discernment — was the great- 
est step ever taken in religious 



all the phrases which he borrows are inwoven into the 
texture of his letter without any sign of quotation. In 
other cases it is possible to assign verbal coincidences to 
accident ; but Polycarp's use of scriptural language is so 
frequent that it is wholly unreasonable to doubt that he 
was acquainted with the chief parts of our Canon ; 
and the mode in which this familiarity is shewn serves 
to justify the conclusion that the scriptural language 
of other books in which it occurs more scantily implies 
a similar knowledge of the Apostolic writings ^ 

A scriptural tone naturally involves a catholicity of spi- 
rit. Polycarp is second only to Clement among the early 
Fathers in the breadth of Apostolic teaching embraced 
in his epistle'^ The influence of St Peter, St John, and St 
Paul, may be traced in his doctrine. In one sentence he 
has naturally united^ the watchwords, so to say, of the 
three Apostles, where he speaks of Christians being 'built 
' up into tho: faith given to them, which is the mother of tis 
' all (cf Gal. iv. 26), hope following after, love towards God 
' and Christ and towards our neighbour preceding.' But 
the peculiar similarity of this epistle to that of St Peter 
was a matter of remark even in early times'*. It would be 
curious to inquire how this happens ; for though the dis- 
ciple of St John reflects from time to time the burning 

1 The authenticity of Polycarp's 
Epistle stands quite unshaken. Cf. 
Schliemann, s. 418 anm.; Jacobson, 
ad vif. Polyc. note q. Schwegler, ii. 
154 sqq., has added no fresh force 
to the old objections. Donaldson 
however, following Daille and Bun- 
sen, rejects c xiii. as an interpolation, 
on grounds which appear to be in- 
sufficient. See Jacobson ad he. On 
the evidence of Polycarp generally 
see Bp. Lightfoot, Cont. Rev., May, 

The fragments of * Polycarp's Re- 

sponsions ' given by Feuardentius in 
his notes on Irenaeus {ill. 3) cannot, 
I think, be genuine. Is anything 
known of the MS. Catena from which 
they were taken ? 

2 The similarity between parts of 
the Epistles of Clement and Poly- 
carp is very striking. The passages 
are printed at length by Hefele, Pro- 
leg, p. XXVII. sqq. In single words 
the likeness is not less remarkable. 

3 Schwegler, li. 157. Polyc. ad 
Phil. c. iii. Compare Jacobson's note. 

4 Euseb. H, E, iv. 14. 


Chap. i. 

the early 
method of 

Its COH- . 

nexion imtk 
the New 
and especial- 
ly with 

St Peter 



chap^ i. I 2eal of his master*; though in writing to the Church most 
beloved by St Paul he recalls the features of their ' glori- 
ous ' founder ; still he exhibits more frequently the tone 
of St Peter, when he spoke at the last as the expounder of 
the Christian law. Whatever may be the explanation of 
this, the fact is in itself important ; for it confirms and 
defines what has been already remarked as to the mutual 
influences which appear to have ultimately modified the 
writings of St Peter and St Paul. The style of St Peter, 
it is well known, is most akin to that of the later epistles of 
St Paul ; and in full harmony with this, the letter of Poly- 
carp, while it echoes so many familiar phrases of the Plrst 
Epistle of St Peter, shews scarcely less likeness to the 
Pastoral Epistles of St Paul*. It can scarcely be an ac- 

the Pas'cral 

^ The famous passage, c. vii. init. 
in connexion with Iren. in. 3 (Euseb. 
IV. 14), will occur to every one. The 
words of Irenseus deserve to be tran- 
scribed, as they carry on a generation 
later the power of the Apostolic life 
already noticed in Irenaeus' account 
of Clement (supr. p. 22, n. 3). koX 
W.okvKo.p-KQ'i S^ Q\) jxbvov virb aTro(jTb\(av 
jLLadrjrevdels Kal avvavaarpacpds ttoX- 
XoiS TOLS TOP Xpia-rbv iojpaKocnv dXXA 
Kal virb diroaToXcjv KaTacrradeis els 
T7]v 'Aaiav ev Trj iu llfxvpvr] eKKXrjalg. 
iiriaKOTros, cu Kal rifxeh ebipa.Kafx.iv iv 
Trj TrpuiT-r} i^fiQu rjXLKigi, eirtTrok'u yhp 
irapefieive Kal Trdvv yrjpaX^os evSo^oiS 
Kal eTrL<^av4<TTaTa jxaprvpiiaas €^T)Xde 
Tov ^iov, Tavra didd^as del d Kal vapd 
tCov diroaToXbiv ^fiadeu, a Kal 7; eKKXr]- 
(ria TTapabldioffLv, a Kal jxbva ecrrlv dXr)- 
di). Maprvpovaiv to6tois al Kara ttjv 
'Afftav iKKXr)(Tiai vdcraL, k.t.X. 

The perpetuity of Apostolic doc- 
trine in its fulness is an implicit tes- 
timony to the authority of the New 
Testament as a whole. 

To complete the testimony the 
words of Tertullian may be added : 
Hoc enim modo ecclesiae Apostolicae 
census suos defer unt, sicut Smyrnse- 

orum ecclesia Polycarpum abjohanne 
conlocatum refert, sicut Romanorum 
Clementem a Petro ordinatum edit, 
proinde utique et casterae exhibent 
quos Apostoli in episcopatum con- 
stitutes Apostolici seminis traduces 
habeant {I)e Prtescr. Hcer. 32). 

^ The following passages from St 
Peter may be noticed : i Pet. i. 8 
(c. i); i. 13 (c. ii.); i. 21 (c. ii.); iii. 
9 (c. ii.); ii. 11 (c. v.); iv. 7 (c. vii.); 
ii, 22, 24 (c. viii.). 

We may perhaps compare also the 
notices of St Paul found in 2 Pet. iii. 
15; Polyc. c. iii. 

As to the Pastoral Epistles, see 
c. iv. (i Tim. vi. 10, 7) ; c. v. (2 Tim. 
ii. 12); c. xii. (i Tim. ii. 2). 

The inscriptions of the epistles of 
the Apostolic Fathers are not with- 
out special significance. Polycarp 
writes Aeos vpuv Kal elprjvrf in the 
New Testament IXeoj occurs in the 
salutations of 1 and 2 Tim., 2 John, 
and Jude. Ignatius, with one excep- 
tion (a^/ PhiLad.), says trXelara xal- 
pew. Cf. James i. i. Clement, in 
the name of the Church of Rome, 
uses the common salutation of St 
Paul X'^P'-'^ /^tt' eiprivr]. 




cident that it does so ; and at any rate it follows that a 
peculiar representation of Christian doctrine, which has 
been held in our own time to belong to the middle of the 
second century, was familiarly recognised in its double 
form, without one mark of doubt, almost within the verge 
of the Apostolic age\ Unless we admit the authenticity 
of the Pastoral Epistles and of the First Epistle of St 
Peter, the general tone and language of the .Epistle of 
Polycarp are wholly inexplicable '^ 

The dangers which impressed on the Ignatian letters 
their peculiar character have given some traits to that of 
Polycarp. He too insists on the necessity 'of turning 

* away from false teaching to the word handed down 
'from the first ^' The true historic presence and work 
of the Lord, on which Ignatius insists with emphatic 
earnestness in combating the error of the Docetae, forms 
the centre of the teaching of Polycarp. ' For whoever,' 
he affirms in the spirit and almost in the words of St 
John, Moes not confess that Jesus Christ has come in 
'the flesh is Antichrist: and whoever does not confess 
' the testimony of the cross is of the devil ; and whoever 
' perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and 

* says that there is neither resurrection nor judgment, 

* this man is the firstborn of Satan*.' ' Christians,' he says 
elsewhere, ' are to be subject to the priests and deacons, 

1 The epistle of Polycarp was writ- 
ten shortly after the martyrdom of 
Ignatius, and its date consequently 
depends on that. Cf. cc. ix., xiii., and 
Jacobson's note on the last passage, 
which removes Liicke's objection. 

2 Among the peculiarities of Poly- 
carp's language are the following : he 
has in common with St Paul only 
ajro-K\avq.v — aftpa^div — axpiXdpyvpos 
— rb Kokov — fxaTaioXoyla — -npovoetv. 
Of his coincidences with St Peter, 
which consist in whole phrases and 

not in single words, we have already 
spoken. The following words are not 
found elsewhere in the Apostolic Fa- 
thers nor at all in the New Testament 
except in St Peter's and St Paul's Epi- 
stles, dvaKOTTTeadat — rJ/evSoideXtpos — 

rpevdodiSaaKaXia /Mtdode^eiv (fxeOo- 

dda, St Paul) — airoTOfios {diroTo/xia, 
St Paul). 

^ c. vii. 

* c. vii. The words might seem a 
condemnation of the characteristic 
errors of our own age. 

Chap. i. 

Relation to 






The special 
value of 
Poly carp's 


' as to God and Christ\' Fasting had already become 
a part of the discipline of the Church^. 

In one respect the testimony of Polycarp is more im- 
portant than that of any other of the Apostolic Fathers. 
Like his Master, he lived to unite two ages^ He had 
listened to St John, and he became himself the teacher of 
Irenseus. In an age of convulsion and change he stands 
at Smyrna and Rome as a type of the changeless truths 
of Christianity. In his extreme age he still taught ' that 
' which he had learned from the Apostles, and which con- 
' tinued to be the tradition of the Church*. And in the 
next generation his teaching was confirmed by all the 
Churches in Asia^. Thus the zeal of Polycarp watches 
over the whole of the most critical period of the history 
of Christianity. His words are the witnesses of the second 

§ 4. Barnabas, 

The arguments which have been urged against the 
claims of the Epistle of Barnabas to be considered as a 

^ c. V. ' from his mouth both was accom- 

' plished and will be accomplished ' 
[y}v [scil. Tcoj' e/cXe^TcDv] efs...7C'y6»'et o 
...noXi//fa/)7ros, iv toU Kad' -^ijms xP^' 
VOLS diddcKuXos OLTToaToKiKos Kal irpo' 
(fyrp-LKOs yevo/xevos, eTriaKoiros [re] t^i 
ev l^fxvpvy KadoXiKTJs eKK\r]alas...Ec- 
cles. Smyr. Epist. c. xvi.). It is ob- 
vious that the epithet 'apostolic' is 
explained by 'in our times,' and 
' prophetic ' by the last clause of the 
quotation. It might have been unne- 
cessary to notice this but for Cred- 
ner's strange theory: Gesch. d. Kan. 
67 ff. 

The authenticity of this narrative 
of the martyrdom has been called in 
question (see especially Donaldson, 
pp. 101 ff.), but there seems to be no 
sufficient reason for doubting its ge- 
neral truthfulness. 

3 His death is variously placed 
from 147 — 178. The recent investi- 
gations of M. Waddington as to the 
date of the Proconsulship of L. Sta- 
tins Quadratus, under whom Poly- 
carp suffered, fix the true date [Febr. 
24] 155-6 A.D, The meeting of Po- 
lycarp with Anicetus will therefore 
fall in 154 A.D. Comp. Lipsius, Der 
Miirtyrej'-tod Polycarp' s, Hilgenfeld's 
Zeitschrift, vii. 2, pp. i88 ff. 

* Iren. ill. 3. 4. 

5 Iren. /. c. 

^ In the account of his martyrdom 
he is described as one 'who proved 
'himself in our times an apostolic 
' and prophetic teacher and bishop of 
' the Catholic Church in Smyrna. 
' For every word which he uttered 




work of the first age cannot overbalance the direct histo- 
rical testimony by which it is supported. It is quoted 
frequently, and with respect, by Clement and Origen. 
Eusebius speaks of it as a book well-known, and com- 
monly circulated {(pepo/jievrj), though he classes it with the 
books whose Canonicity was questioned or denied \ In 
Jerome's time it was still read among the Apocryphal 
Scriptures. It follows the Apocalypse in the Sinaitic 
manuscript of the Greek Bible. In the Stichometria of 
Nicephorus it is classed with the Antilegomena. 

But while the antiquity of the Epistle is firmly esta- 
blished, its Apostolicity is more than questionable. A 
writing bearing the name of Barnabas, and known to be 
of the Apostolic age, might very naturally be attributed 
to the ' Apostle ' in default of any other tradition ; and 
the supposed connexion of Barnabas of Cyprus with Alex- 
andria^ where the letter first gained credit, would render 
the hypothesis more natural. Clement and Jerome iden- 
tify the author with the fellow-labourer of St Paul ; but 
on the other hand Origen and Eusebius are silent on this 
point. From its contents it seems unlikely that it was 
written by a companion of Apostles, and a Levite^ In 
addition to this, it is probable that Barnabas died before 
A.D. 62*; and the letter contains not only an allusion to 
the destruction of the Jewish Temple,^ but also affirms 
the abrogation of the Sabbath, and the general celebra- 
tion of the Lord's Day®, which seems to shew that it 
could not have been written before the beginning of the 

1 H. E. III. 25 ; VI. 14. 

2 Clem. Horn. i. 9, 13 ; 11. 4. 

' Hefele, Das Sendschreiben des 
Apostels Barnabas, ss. 166 ff. 

* Hefele, ss. 37, 159. 

' c. xvi. : Sta ^ap rb iroXefieiv av- 
Toi/s Kadvpidr) [0 vabs} virb rdv ix^pCop 
vOy, Kui avToi koI oi tQv ex^pwi' vir7jp4- 

rai dpoiKodofiT^tTovaiv olvt^v. Hefele's 
punctuation (ex^pCJv vvv k.t.\.) can- 
not, I think, stand. The writer calls 
attention to the present desolation of 
the Temple. 

^ c. XV. ad fin. : S1.6 Kal dyofiey tt)v 
TJfiipav Tr}v SySorjv e/s ii<t>po<j{ivqv, 
K.T.X. Cf. Ign. ad Magn. ix. 



second century\ From these and similar reasons Hefele 
rightly, as it seems, decides that the Epistle is not to be 
attributed to Barnabas the Apostle ; but at the same 
time he attaches undue importance to the conclusion as 
it affects the integrity of the Canon. Jerome evidently 
looked upon the Epistle as an authentic writing of ' him 
' who was ordained with St Paul,' and yet he classed it 
with the Apocrypha. It is an arbitrary assumption that 
a work of this Barnabas would necessarily be Canonical. 
There is no reason to believe that he received his ap- 
pointment to the Apostolate directly from our Lord, as 
the Twelve did, and afterwards St Paul ; and those 
who regard the Canon merely as a collection of works 
stamped with Apostolic authority can scarcely find any 
other limit to its contents than that which is fixed by 
the strictest use of the Apostolic titled 

Moreover there is no ground for supposing that every 
writing of an Apostle would have found a place in the 
Canon of the Christian Church. It is scarcely possible 
but that some Apostolic writings have perished, and yet 
we believe that the Bible is none the less complete. There 
is no essential difference between a selection of records, 
and a selection of facts, taken within a given range. The 
same Divine Power which watched over the fragmentary 
recital of the acts and words of the Lord and His disci- 
ples, so that nothing should be wanting which it concerns 
us to know, acted (as far as we can see) in like manner in 
preserving for our perpetual instruction those among the 
writings of the Apostles which had an abiding signi- 

1 Mr Cunningham in his Disserta- ^ Mohler, I find with the greatest 
//^^ on the Epistle (Cambridge, 1877) satisfaction, uses exactly the same 
inclines to -follow Ewald and Wuz- argument as to the supposed neces- 
sacher in assigning a very early date sary Canonicity of an authentic let- 
to the Epistle ' not many years later ter of the Apostle Barnabas {Patrol. 
than Vespasian' (p. xxxvi). 88). 



ficance. The Bible is for us the sum of prophetic and 
apostolic literature, but that is not its essential character- 
istic. It contains ' all that concerns Christ ' in the same 
sense in which the Gospel contains all the teaching of 
Christ. The completeness in each case is not absolute, 
but relative to the work which is to be accomplished. 

But while the Epistle of Barnabas has no claims to 
canonical authority, as a monument of the first Christian 
age it is full of interest. Among the writings of the 
Apostolic Fathers it holds the same place as the Epistle 
to the Hebrews in the New Testament. There is at 
least so much similarity between them as to render a 
contrast possible, and thus to illustrate and confirm the 
true theory of Scriptural Inspiration. Both Epistles are 
constructed, so to speak, out of Old Testament materials ; 
and yet the mode of selection and arrangement is widely 
different. Both exhibit the characteristic principles of 
the Alexandrine school ; but in the one case they are 
modified, as it were, by an instinctive sense of their due 
relation to the whole system of Christianity ; in the 
other they are subjected to no restraint, and usurp an 
independent and absolute authority. 

The mystical interpretations of the Old Testament 
found in the Epistle to the Hebrews are marked by a 
kind of reserve. The author shews an evident conscious- 
ness that this kind of teaching is not suited to all, but 
requires -mature powers alike in the instructor and in the 
taught\ As if to transfer his readers to a more spiritual 
atmosphere, though this is but one aspect of the motive 
which seems to have ruled his choice, he takes his illus- 
trations from the Tabernacle, and not from the Temple. 
The transitory resting-place which was fashioned ac- 
cording to the command of God, and not the permanent 

^ Hebr. v. 1 1 sqq. 



'house' which was reared according to the design of 
man, was chosen as the figure of higher and divine 
truths. Those types which are pursued in detail are 
taken from the sahent points of the Jewish ritual, and 
serve to awaken attention, without creating any difficul- 
ties in the way of those who are naturally disinclined to 
what are called mystical speculations. It is otherwise 
in the Epistle of Barnabas. In that the subtlest inter- 
pretations are addressed to promiscuous readers — to 
'sons and daughters' — and the highest value is defi- 
nitely affixed to them*. In parts there is an evident 
straining after novelty wholly alien from the calm and 
conscious strength of an Apostle ; and the details of his 
explanations are full of the rudest errors*"^. In the one 
Epistle we have to do with a method of interpretation 
clear and broad ; in the other we have an application of 
the method, at times ingenious and beautiful, and then 
again arbitrary and incongruous. The single point of 
direct connexion between the two Epistles illustrates 
their respective characters. Both speak of the rest of 
God on the seventh day ; but in the Epistle to the He- 
brews this rest, not yet realised by man, though prepared 
for him from the foundation of the world, is made a 
motive for earnest and watchful efforts, and nothing 
more is defined as to the time of its approach. Barnabas 
on the contrary, having spoken of the promise, deter- 
mines the date of its fulfilment. The six days of the 
creation furnish a measure, and so he accepts the old 
tradition, current even in Etruria, which fixed the con- 

^ c.'xx.adjin.: ovSeh yvrjaidrrepov (lH'=i8) together with the Cross 

^fiadev air' e/xou \6yov, ctW [otSa] on (T'=30o). 

d^Lol ecrre vfxeis. Barnabas has been ^ c. x. Yet the passages are 

speaking of the mystical interpreta- quoted by Clement of Alexandria, 

tion of the 318 members of Abra- Cf. Hefele, Das Sendschreiben^ u. j.' 

ham's household as prefiguring Jesus w., s. 86 anra. 




summation of all things at the end of six thousand years 
from the creation \ 

But yet more than this : the general spirit of the 
Epistle of Barnabas is different from that of the Epistle 
to the Hebrews. In the latter it is shewn that there lies 
a deep meaning for us under the history and the law of 
Israel. The old Covenant was real, though not ' faultless/ 
and its ordinances were 'patterns of the things in heaven/ 
though not the heavenly things themselves'^ But in the 
former it is assumed throughout that the Law was from 
its first institution misunderstood by the Jews. The first 
covenant was broken by reason of their idolatry, and the 
second became a stumblingblock to them in spite of the 
teaching of the Prophets^. Fasts, feasts, and sacrifices, 
were required by God only in a spiritual sense*. Even 
circumcision, as they practised it, was not the seal of 
God's covenant, but rather the work of an evil spirit, who 
induced them to substitute that for the circumcision of 
the heart ^ The Jewish Sabbath was not according to 
God's will: their temple was a delusion ^ Judaism is 

1 Heb. iv., Barn. xv. The Etru- 
rian tradition is so remarkable that it 
deserves to be quoted. 'An able 
' writer among them [the Etrurians] 
' compiled a history : God, he said, 
*the Maker of all things providen- 

* tially appointed twelve periods of a 
'thousand years for the duration of 
'all- His creatures, and distributed 
' th^m to the twelve so-called dispen- 
'sations (ol/coi). In the first period 
' (xtXtcis) He made the heaven and 
' the earth. In the second the visible 
' firmament, and called it heaven. 

' In the third the sea and all the wa- 

* ters in the earth. In the fourth the 
'great lights {(pwcTTrjpas), the sun and 
'moon and the stars. In the fifth 
' all living fowls and creeping things 
' and four-footed beasts in the air and 
' on the earth and in the waters. In 

* the sixth man. It appears then that 
'the first six periods passed away 
'before the formation (5ia7rXacris) of 
' man ; and that during the remaining 
'six the race of man will continue 
'so that the whole time up to the 
' consummation of all things extends 
' to twelve thousand years ' (Suidas, 
s. v. Tvpprjpia). The conception of 
the gradual progress of creation in 
each period, so that man is the final 
result of the sixth, is remarkable. A 
trace of the same tradition is pre- 
served by Servius ad Virg. Eel. ix. 


2 Hebr. viii. 7 ; x. 23. 

2 Barn. c. xiv. 

^ Barn. cc. ii., iii. 

° c. ix. 

^ cc. XV., xvi. 

Chap. i. 




made a mere riddle, of which Christianity is the answer. 
It had in itself no value, not even as the slave {TraiZa'ya)- 
ryoq) which guards us in infancy from outward dangers, 
till we are placed under the true teacher's care\ Each 
symbolic act is emptied of its real meaning, because it 
is deprived of the sacramental character with which God 
invested it. The worth of the Law, as one great in- 
strument in the education of the world, is disregarded : 
the true idea of revelation, as a gradual manifestation of 
God's glory, is violated : the harmonious subordination 
of the parts of the divine scheme of redemption is de- 
stroyed. On such principles it is not enough that the 
sum of all future growth should be implicitly contained 
in the seed : that the vital principle which inspires the 
first and the last should be the same : that the identity 
of essence should be indicated by the identity of life : 
but all must be perfect according to some arbitrary and 
stereotyped standard. Against this doctrine, which is 
I the germ of all heresy, the Holy Scriptures ever consist- 
ently protest. Their catholicity is the constant mark of 
their divine origin ; and the undesigned harmony which 
results from every possible combination of their different 
parts is the surest pledge of their absolute truths 

^ Gal. iii. 24. his peculiarities may be noticed a/ce- 

^ The language of Barnabas is paioaOfri — diyvupios — diyXwaaos — di- 

more remarkable for peculiar words irXoKapdia — dpaa^irris — iravafxapT-qTos 

than for coincidences with any parts — (TrXacr^ua), avairXdaaeadaL — irpo- 

of the New Testament. He has [ava- ^auepovadai. — cvKk-qTrTwp — xnrepaya- 

Kaivl^eiv) — €v^pyr}fx.a — ^uoiroieiadai, in tt^v. 
common with St Paul; and among 







ECT. II. The Relation of the Apostolic 
Fathers to the Canon of the New Tes- 

The testimony of the Apostolic Fathers is not how- 
ever confined to the recognition of the several types of 
Christianity which are preserved in the Canonical Scrip- 
tures : they confirm the genuineness and authority of 
the books themselves. That they do not appeal to the 
Apostolic writings more frequently and more distinctly 
springs from the very nature of their position. Those 
who had heard the living voice of Apostles were un- 
likely to appeal to their written words. We have an 
instinct which always makes us prefer any personal 
connexion to the more remote relationship of books. 
Thus Papias tells us that he sought to learn from every 
quarter the traditions of those who had conversed with 
the elders, thinking that he should not profit so much 
by the narratives of books as by the living and abiding 
voice of the Lord's disciples. And still Papias affirmed 
the exact accuracy of the Gospel of St Mark, and quoted 
testimonies (/j,apTvpLai) from the Catholic Epistles of 
St Peter and St John*. So again Irenaeus in earnest 
language records with what joy he listened to the words 
of Polycarp,'when he told of his intercourse with those 
who had seen the Lord ; and how those who had been 
with Christ spoke of His mighty works and teaching. 
And still all was according to the Scriptures (iravra 
(rv/jL(j)(i)va Tah 'ypaj>al^) ; so that the charm lay not in 
the novelty of the narrative, but in its vital union with 
the fact'. 

^ See pp. 7+ ff. Irenseus (iii. 3. 4) quoted above, p. 

2 Iren. Ej?. ad Flor. ap. Euseb. 38. 
//. E. V. 20. Compare the passage of 


TJte testi- 
mony of the 
Fathers to 
the New 

modified by 
the ^Aposto- 
lic tradi- 



In three instances^ in which it was natural to expect 
a direct allusion to the Epistles of St Paul the references 
are as complete as possible. * Take up the Epistle of 
' the blessed Paul the Apostle,' is the charge of Clement 

to the Corinthians, ' in truth he spiritually charged 

'you concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos^ ' 

' Those who are borne by martyrdom to God/ Ignatius 
writes to the Ephesians, ' pass through your city ; ye are 
' initiated into mysteries (cru/x/AucrTat) with St Paul, the 

'sanctified, the martyred, worthy of all blessing who 

'in every part of his letter (eV iraari iirLaToXr)) makes 
' mention of you in Christ Jesus^' ' The blessed and 

'glorious Paul,' says Polycarp to the Philippians, * 

' wrote letters to you, into which if ye look diligently, 
' ye will be able to be built up to [the fulness of] the 
'faith given to you*.' 

Elsewhere in the Apostolic Fathers there are clear 
traces of a knowledge of the Epistles of St Paul to the 
Romans, i and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, 
PhiHppians, and i and 2 Timothy, of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, of the Epistle of St James, the first Epistle of 
St Peter, and the first Epistle of St John. The allusions 
to the Epistles of St Paul to the Thessalonians, Colos- 
sians, to Titus, and Philemon, and to 2 Peter, are very 
uncertain; and there are, I believe, no coincidences of 
language with the Epistles of Jude, and 2 and 3 John^ 

1 The subject of Ignatius' letter to letter, 'but, 'in every part of his letter.' 

the Romans explains the absence of The passage is not found in the 

any direct allusion to St Paul's Epistle. Syriac. 

The mention of St Peter and St Paul ^ Polyc. c. iii. 

(c. iv.) however is worthy of notice. ^ The following table will be found 

^ Clem. c. xlvii. useful and interesting as shewing how 

* Ad Ephes. c. xii. The reference far each writer makes use of other 

in (TvfiixxKTTaL to Eph. v. 32 seems books of the New Testament than 

clear when we remember the whole the Gospels : 

tenor of Ignatius' letter, ^^v iraffrj eir. Clement. Romans (c. xxxv.); i 

is not necessarily, I think, ' in every Corinthians (c. xlvii.) ; Ephe- 

(a) Their 
testimony to 
the Books 
0/ the New 
(ij explicit. 




It is true that these incidental references are with one 
exception anonymous. The words of Scripture are in- 
wrought into the texture of the books, and not parcelled 
out into formal quotations. They are not arranged with 
argumentative effect, but used as the natural expression 
of Christian truths. Now this use of the Holy Scriptures 
shews at least that they were even then widely known, 
and therefore guarded by a host of witnesses ; that their 
language was transferred into the common dialect ; that 
it was as familiar to those first Christians as to us who use 
it as unconsciously as they did in writing or in conversa- 
tion. Two passages of Clement will sufficiently illus- 
trate the statements which have been made. No one, as 
far as I know, has ever questioned the genuineness of the 
chapters from which they are taken, or doubted the 
reality of the references to Apostolic writings which they 
contain. Clement had referred the Corinthians to St 
Paul's Epistle\ Not long afterwards he goes on to speak 
of love [d'ycLTrri) in the following terms : ' Love unitetli 
' (KoXka) us to God : /ove covereth a multitude of sins 
' (i Pet. iv. 8) : love supporteth {avkx'cTai not a-reryei) all 
^things (i Cor. xiii. f), suffereth long in all things (i Cor. 
' xiii. 4) : there is nothing vulgar in love, nothing proud : 
Move hath no divisions (a-p^to-yu,a), love is not factious. 

sians (c. :xlvi.); i Timothy? 
(c. vii.); Titus? (c. ii.); He- 
brews (cc. xvii., xxxvi. &~'c.)', 
James (c. x. &'c,). 

Ignatius, i Corinthians j^ad E- 
phes.y.y\\\.)', Ephesians (a^^- 
phes. xii.); Philippians? {ad 
Philad. viii.) ; iThessalonians? 
(a^ii//^(?j.x.); Philemon? [ad 
Ephes. c. ii. &=c.). 

POLYCARP. Acts ii. 24 (c. i.) ; Ro- 
mans (c. vi.) ; I Corinthians 
(c, xi.); 1 Corinthians (cc. ii., 
vi.); Galatians (cc. iii., xii.); 
Ephesians? (c. xii.); PhiMp- 


pians (c. iii., xi.); i Thessa- 
lonians? (cc. ii., iv.); ■z Thes- 
salonians? (c. xi.); i Timothy 
(c. iv.); 2 Timothy (c. v.); i 
Peter (cc. i., ii. 6^r.j; i John 
(c. vii.); 1 Peter iii. 15 (c. 
iii.) (?). 

Barnabas. Eph.? (c. vi.j; i Timo- 
thy? (c. xii.); 2 Timothy? (c. 
vii.). Cf. Hefele, ss. 230 — 
240. Cunningham, pp. xciv. ff. 
The Evangelic references are 
examined below, pp. 60 ff. 

1 c. xlvii. 

Chap. i. 

The peculiar 
value of this 

The freedom 
of the refer- 
MENT, and 




'love doeth all things in concord \' The language of 
St Paul is evidently floating before the writer's eyes, and 
yet he deliberately avoids reproducing it. He clothes 
the Pauline thoughts in words of his own, and adds a 
cognate phrase of St Peter. Nothing would have 
been easier, or even more plausible, than to deny the 
reference to i Corinthians if it had been established only 
by the coincidences of words. The second passage is no 
less instructive. Clement has occasion to speak of Jesus 
Christ as ' the High Priest of our offerings : the cham- 
*pion and helper of our infirmity.' 'Through Him,' 
he says, ' . . . the Lord (heairorrj^;) wished us to taste 
'immortal knowledge who being the brightness of His 
' greatness (Hebr. i. 3) is so much greater than angels 
' as He hath by inJuritance obtained a 7nore excellent name 
* (i. 4) ; for it is written thus, who maketh his angels 
^ spirits y and his ministers a flame of fire (i. 7). But in 
' the case of His Son the Lord spake thus, Thoii art my 
' Sony this day have I begotten Thee (i. 5) : ask of me and 
' I will give thee nations for thine inheritance, and the 
' utmost parts of the earth for thy possession. And again, 
' He saith unto Him, Sit on my right hand tmtil I make 
^ thine enemies thy footstool' (i. 13). Here there are, as 
it will be seen, compressions, omissions, transpositions, 
substitutions, and yet no one could with reason doubt 
that Hebrews i., as we read it, was clearly present to 
the writer's mind^ 

This free adaptation of the apostolic language by 
Clement will enable us to give its true weight to a 
passage in which Polycarp uses the language of i John^ 

1 c. xlix. The free use made of Christian Fathers generally with 
I Cor. xii. in c. xxxvii. ought to be great care in c. ii. of The Gospels in 
compared with this reminiscence. the Seco-nd Century (Cambridge, 

2 Dr Sanday has examined the 1876). 

character of the quotations in early ^ The strange notion that Poly- 




* Every one that doth not confess that Jesus Christ hath 

* come in the flesh is antichrist; and whoever does not 

* confess the testimony of the cross is of the devil' The 
agreement with i John iv. 3 is complete in the essential 
thoughts, and the form of Polycarp's sentence appears to 
be based upon 2 John 7\ 

The general style of the writers with whom we are 
dealing goes far to establish the validity of these silent 
and incomplete quotations. For it will be readily ad- 
mitted that if the quotations from the Old Testament in 
the Apostolic Fathers were uniformly explicit and exact, 
this mode of argument would lose much of its force. But 
with the exception of Barnabas it does not appear that 
they have made a single reference by name to any one of 
the books of the Old Testament^; and Barnabas perhaps 
quotes a passage from St Matthew with the technical 
formula *as it is written V Clement uses the general 
formula ' It is written/ or even more frequently ' God 

carp * contradicted the statements of 
the fourth Gospel' when he 'con- 
tended that Christian festival should 
be celebrated on the 14th Nisan' 
will be noticed when we speak of 
Claudius Apollinaris. 

^ I John iv. 3, irav irvevfia 
ofioKoyeX 'Irjaovv HpiCTOv iv aapd 
iXrfkvdoTa, iK rov Geou iffrLv' kuI 
irav irvevfia o fir] o/MoKoye? tov 'Itjctouu 
iK TOV Qeov ovK ^<ttiv, koL toCto icTTiv 
TO TOV dvTixpl-CTOv... 1 John 7, ol firj 
OfioXoyovvTei ^Irjcrovv 'KpLO'Tov ipxofie' 
vov iv aapKi' ovtos iaTtv...6 dvrl- 
Xpi-(^T0s. Yet it may be observed 
that there is good authority for i\rj- 
\vdivaL in i John iv. 3. The author 
of Supern. Relig. gives (ii. p. 268) a 
good example of the facility with 
which similar phrases are mixed up 
when he quotes as ' i John iv. 3 ' the 
mixed reading which is given by i< 
only, KoX irdv "rrveOfxa pii) o/xoXoyeT 
Irja-ovy Kvpiov iv aapd iXriXvOora iK 


Is this also taken from an apocry- 
phal writing ? 

2 Barn. £p. c. x. : "Xiyec avToTs 
[MojuTjs] iv T(^ AevTepovofilii). Else- 
where Barnabas mentions the writer's 
name: c. iv. Daniel; c. xii. David, 
Esaias ; c. vi., x., xii. Moses. 

^ Barn. iv. Matt. xxii. 1 4. The read- 
ing of Cod. Sinaiticus (ws yiy pairTai) 
removes the doubt which naturally 
attached to the Latin Version siatf 
scriptiim est, and thus this quotation 
from St Matthew, if indeed it is a 
quotation, is the earliest direct exam- 
ple of the use of a book of the New 
Testament as Holy Scripture. 

In the second ' Epistle ' of Clement 
there is the same explicitness of refer- 
ence as in Barnabas, c. iii. Esaias ; 
c. vi. Ezechiel. So likewise a passage 
of St Matthew's Gospel is called 
ypatfii} (c. ii.). Thefact is worth notice. 
On the other hand it is just to add 

E 2 

Chap. L 

by the quota- 
tions from 
the Old Tes- 




How far it 
can be ap- 
plied to the 

saith,' or simply ' One saith^' The two quotations from 
the Old Testament in Ignatius are simply preceded by 
* It is written.' In the Greek text of Polycarp there is 
no mark of quotation at alP; and Clement sometimes 
introduces the language of the Old Testament into his 
argument without any mark of distinction^ Exactness 
of quotation was foreign to the spirit of the writing. 

Nothing has been said hitherto of the coincidences 
between the Apostolic Fathers and the Canonical Gospels. 
From the nature of the case casual coincidences of lan- 
guage cannot be brought forward in the same manner to 
prove the use of a history as of a letter. The same facts 
and words, especially if they be recent and striking, may 
be preserved in several narratives. References in the sub- 
apostolic age to the discourses or actions of our Lord as 
we find them recorded in the Gospels shew, so far as they 
go, that what the Gospels relate was then held to be true ; 
but it does not necessarily follow that they were already 
in use, and were the actual source of the passages in ques- 
tion. On the contrary, the mode in which Clement^ re- 
fers to our Lord's teaching, ' the Lord said,' not ' saith,* 
seems to imply that he was indebted to tradition, and not 
to any written accounts, for words most closely resem- 
bling those which are still found in our Gospels. The 
main testimony of the Apostolic Fathers is therefore to 
the substance, and not to the authenticity of the Gospels. 

that the proverbial form of the saying 
('Many are called but few chosen') 
is such as to admit of the supposition 
that it may have been derived by 
Barnabas from some older book than 
St Matthew. 

1 c. xxvi. (Job) ^c, lii. (David), 
cannot be considered exceptions to the 

2 The reading of the Latin Version 
in c. xi. sicut Paulus docet seems to be 

less open to suspicion than that in 
c. xii. tit his scripturis dictum est (Ps. 
iv. 5 ; Eph. iv. 26), which is at least 
quite alien from Polycarp's manner. 

* E.g. cc. xxvii., liv. So also Igna- 
tius ad Trail, viii. 

^ cc. xiii., xlvi. {dTrev\ compared 
with Acts XX. 35. The past tense in 
Ignat. ad Smyr, iii. appears to be of a 
different kind. 




And in this respect they have an important work to do. 
They witness that the great outlines of the life and 
teaching of our Lord were familiarly known to all from 
the first : they prove that Christianity rests truly on a 
historic basis. 

The ' Gospel ' which the Fathers announce includes 
all the articles of the ancient Creeds \ Christ, we read, 
our God, the Word, the Lord and Creator of the World, 
who was with the Father before time began ^ humbled 
Himself, and came down from heaven, and was mani- 
fested in the flesh, and was born of the Virgin Mary, of 
the race of David according to the flesh ; and a star of 
exceeding brightness appeared at His birth^ After- 
wards He was baptized by John, to fulfil all righteous- 
ness; and then, speaking His Father's message, He invited 
not the righteous, but sinners, to come to Him^ Perfume 
was poured over His head, an emblem of the immortality 
which He breathed on the Church^ At length, under 
Herod and Pontius Pilate He was crucified, and vinegar 
and gall were offered Him to drink ^. But on the first 
day of the week He rose from the dead, the first-fruits of 
the grave ; and many prophets were raised by Him for 
whom they had waited. After His resurrection He ate 
with His disciples, and shewed them that He was not 
an incorporeal spirit'. And He ascended into heaven, 

^ On the use of oral and written 
Gospels in the first age, compare Gie- 
seler, Ueber die Ehtstehung u. s. w. ss. 
149 sqq. Introduction to the Study of 
the 'Gospels^ pp. 154 ff. 

2 Ign. ad Rom, inscr., c. iii.; ad 
Ephes. inscr. ; ad Magnes. viii. : Barn. 
v.: Ign. ad Magnes. vi. 

^ Clem, xvi, : Ign. ad Magnes. vii. : 
Barn. xii. : Ign. ad Smyr. i. ; ad 
Trail, ix. ; ad Ephes. xix. : Ign. ad 
Ephes. XX. ; id. xix. (of especial in- 

^ Ign. ad Smyr. i. The words 
which are parallel with St Matthew, 
tVa irXrjpwdy irdaa diKaiocrvfrj vtt av- 
Tov, appear to have been wanting in 
the Ebionite Gospel : Hieron. adv. 
Pelag. iii. 2. Ad Rom. viii.: Barn. 


^ Eph. xvii. the words kirl rrjs 
K€(f)a\TJ5 connect the reference with 
Matt. xxvi. 7 (true reading). 

^ Ign. ad Magnes.xi.', ad Trail, ix.; 
ad Smyr. i. : Barn. vii. 

7 Barn, xv.: Ign. ad Magnes. ix. : 


The great 
features of 

Christ's life 





Chap. i. 

O) Testi- 
inony to the 
authority of 

modified by 

and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and 
thence He shall come to judge the quick and the 

Such, in their own words, is the testimony of the 
earliest Fathers to the life of the Saviour. Round these 
facts their doctrines are grouped ; on the truth of the 
Incarnation and the Passion and the Resurrection of 
Christ their hopes were grounded ^ 

If the extent of the evidence of the Apostolic Fathers 
to the books of the New Testament is exactly what might 
be expected from men who had seen the Apostles, who 
had heard them, and who had treasured up their writings 
as the genuine records of their teaching, the character of 
their evidence is equally in accordance with their peculiar 
position. It will be readily seen that we cannot expect 

Clem. xxiv. : Polyc. ii. : Ign. ad Mag- 
nes. ix. ; ad Smyr. iii. 

^ Barn. xv. : Polyc. ii. : Barn, vii.: 
Polyc. ii. Barnabas {/. c.) appears at 
first sight to place the Ascension also 
on a Sunday ; but it is more likely that 
he regarded the Manifestation and 
Ascension of the Risen Christ as sim- 
ply additional moments in the story of 
the Resurrection. 

There are also numerous references 
to discourses of our Lord which are 
recorded in the gospels : 

c. xiii. Comp. Matt. v. 7 ; vi. 14; 

vii. 2, 12, and parallels. 
c. xlvi. Comp. Matt. xxvi. 24 
and parallels. 

ad Eph. V. Matt, xviii. 19. 

id. vi. Matt. x. 40. 

ad Trail, xi. Matt. xv. 13. 

ad Rom. vii. Cf. John xvi. ir. 

id. Cf. John iv. 14 ; vii. 38. 

id. Cf. John vi. 51. 

ad Philad. vii. Cf. John iii. 8. 

ad Smyrn. \\. Matt. xix. 12. 

ad Polyc. i. Matt. viii. 17. 

id. ii. Matt. x. 16. 


c. ii. Matt. vii. i ; vi. 14 ; v. 7 ; 
Luke vi. 38, 40. Matt. v. 
c. vii. Matt. vi. 13; xxvi. 41; 

Mark xiv. 38. 
c. v. Cf. Matt. XX. 28. 
c. vi. Cf. Matt. vi. 12, 14. 

c. iv. Matt. xxii. 14. 
c. V. Matt. ix. 13. 
These parallels together with sup- 
posed references to sayings of the 
Lord not contained in the Canonical 
Gospels are examined in a Note at 
the end of the Chapter: pp. 60 ff. 
Compare Introd. to the Study of 
the Gospels, App. C. Gieseler, Uebcr 
die Entstehiing der schrift. Etjv. ss. 
147 ff. 

^ Qi.\^. ad Philad. y\n. It is very 
worthy of notice that there are no re- 
ferences to the miracles of our Lord in 
the Apostolic Fathers. All miracles 
are implicitly included in the Incar- 
nation and Resurrection of Christ. 
Compare Note at the end of the 




to find in the first age the New Testament quoted as 
authoritative in the same manner as the Old Testament. 
There could not indeed be any occasion for an appeal to 
the testimony of the Gospels when the history of the faith 
was still within the memory of many ; and most of the 
Epistles were of little use in controversy, for the earliest 
heretics denied the Apostleship of St Paul. The Old 
Testament, on the contrary, was common ground ; and 
the ancient system of biblical interpretation furnished 
the Christian with ready arms. When these failed it 
was enough for him to appeal to the Death and Resur- 
rection of Christ, which were at once the sum and the 
proof of his faith. ' I have heard some say,' Ignatius 
writes, ' Unless I find in the ajicients [the writers of the 
' Old Testament^ I believe not in the Gospel, and when I 
' said to them It is written [in the Prophets that Christ 

* should suffer and rise a^ain], they replied [That must be 
^proved /] the [question lies before ms. But to me/ he 
adds, 'Jesus Christ is [the substance of all] records; my 

* inviolable records are His Cross and Death and Resur- 
' rection, and the Faith through HimV 

It cannot however be denied that the idea of the 
Inspiration of the New Testament, in the sense in which 
it is maintained now, was the growth of time. When 
St Paul spoke'^ of the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment as able to make wise unto salvation through faith 
which is in Christ Jesus, he expressed what was the 
practical belief of the first century of the Christian 

1 Ad Philad. viii. The passage 
is beset with many difficulties, but 
the translation which I have ven- 
tured to give seems to remove many 
of them. lUpoKeiaQai. is continually 
used of a question in debate : Plat. 
Euthyd. I'jg D, KarayiXaaTov drjTrov 
6 irdXai 7r/)6/ceirat tovto TrdXiv irpo- 

Tid^mi. Resp. VII. 533 E, etc. If 
in place of kv rocs dpxa.iot<} we read 
ip Toh dpxeioLS according to Voss* 
conjecture the sense would be un- 
changed. The sudden burst of feel- 
ing [ifjLol di K.T.X.) is characteristic of 
' 2 2 Tim. iii. j?,. 


(i) iAe cir- 
of the time, 

(2) the gra- 
dual percep- 
tion of the 
authority of 
a New Test- 
ament with 
the Old 





V I 

the relation 
oftJte Apo- 
stles to their 
first succes- 
sors. , 

Church. The Old Testament was for two or three gene- 
rations a complete Bible both doctrinally and historically 
when interpreted in the light of the Gospel. Many of 
the most farsighted teachers, we may believe, prepared 
the way for the formation of a collection of Apostolic 
Writings co-ordinate with the writings of the Prophets, 
but the result to which they looked forward was achiev- 
ed gradually, even as the Old Testament itself was 
formed by slow degrees^. Distance is a necessary con- 
dition if we are to estimate rightly any object of vast 
proportions. The history of any period will furnish 
illustrations of this truth ; and the teaching of God 
through man appears to be always subject to the com- 
mon laws of human life and thought. If it be true 
that a prophet is not received in his own country, it is 
equally true that he is not received in his own age. 
The sense of his power is vague even when it is deep- 
est. Years must elapse before we can feel that the 
words of one who talked with men were indeed the 
words of God. 

The successors of the Apostles did not, we admit, 
recognise that the written histories of the Lord and the 
scattered epistles of His first disciples would form a 
sure and sufficient source and test of doctrine when the 
current tradition had grown indistinct or corrupt. Con- 
scious of a life in the Christian body, and realising the 
power of its Head, in a way impossible now, they did 
not feel that the Apostles were providentially charged 
to express once for all in their writings the essential 
forms of Christianity, even as the Prophets had fore-, 
shadowed them. The position which they held did not 
command that comprehensive view of the nature and 

1 Comp. The Bible in the Churchy Ap. A. 




fortunes of the Christian Church by which the idea is 
suggested and confirmed. But they had certainly an 
indistinct perception that their work was essentially 
different from that of their predecessors. They declined 
to perpetuate their title, though they may have retained 
their office. They attributed to them power and wisdom 
to which they themselves made no claim. Without 
having any exact sense of the completeness of the 
Christian Scriptures, they still drew a line between them 
and their own writings. As if by some providential 
instinct, each one of those teachers who stood nearest to 
the writers of the New Testament contrasted his writings 
with theirs, and definitely placed himself on a lower 
level. The fact is most significant ; for it shews in what 
way the formation of the Canon was an act of the intui- 
tion of the Church, derived from no reasoning, but real- 
ised in the course of its natural growth as one of the 
first results of its self-consciousness. 

demerit, the earliest of the Fathers, does not even 
write in his own name to the Church of Corinth, but 
simply as the representative of the Church of Rome. 
He lays aside the individual authority of an Apostle, 
and the Epistle was well named in the next age that of 
the Romans to the Corinthians\ He apologizes in some 
measure for the tone of reproof which he himself uses, 
and at the same time refers his readers to the Epistle of 
the blessed Paul, who wrote to them ' spiritually,' and 
certainly with the fullest consciousness of absolute and 
unsparing authority.^ 

1 Clem. Alex. Str. v. 12. § 8r. 
Elsewhere however it is quoted in 

* give, beloved, not only admonishing 

*you, but putting ourselves also in 

the same work as the Epistle of * mind [of our duty] ; for we are in 

Clement, Str. i. 7. § 38; vi. 3. §65, 
and even of Clement the Apostle: 
Str. IV. 17. § 107. 

2 c. vii. 'These injunctions we 

the same arena {jkv t(^ avrcp (XKafx 
'fiari), and the same conflict is laid 
' upon us [as upon you], ' 
c. xlvii, 'Take up the Epistle of 


SttVl the 
separate the 
from them- 



Polycarp, in like manner, who had hstened to the 
words of the loved disciple, still says afterwards that 'nei- 
' ther he nor any like him is able to attain fully to {jcaraKo- 
'\oudrj(Tat) the wisdom of the blessed and glorious 

Ignatius, who, if we receive the testimony of the 
writings attributed to him, seems very little likely to 
have disparaged the power of his office, still twice dis- 
claims in memorable words the idea that he wished to 
impose his commands like Peter and Paul : they were 
' Apostles, while I,' he adds, ' am a condemned man ' 

Barnabas again twice reminds his readers that he 
speaks as one of them, not as a teacher, but as a member 
of Christ's Church ^ 

One passage of the Ignatian Epistles still remains to 
be noticed. In this there appears to be an indication 
that when they were written there was a recognised 
collection of Christian books. Ignatius speaks of himself 
as 'having fled to the Gospel as to the flesh of Jesus, and 
' to the Apostles as to the presbytery of the Church. Yea,' 
he continues, ' and let us love the prophets also, because 
' they also preached unto the Gospel*.' The juxtaposi- 
tion of prophets (i,e. the prophetic writings of the Old 
Testament) with the Gospel and the Apostles is harsh 
and unnatural unless these also are represented by writings. 

* the blessed Paul the Apostle. What depot, iyd) bk fiixP'- vvv ZovXo^. 'AW 
' did he write first to you at the be- lav -n-ddio direXeijdepos 'Irjaov, Kal dva- 
' ginning of the Gospel? In very crr-^cofJiaL iv avT(^ eXevdepos. Cf. ad 

* truth he gave you spiritual injunc- Tra/L c. iii. [Eph. xii.] The word 

* tions about himself and Cephas and was doubtless suggested by his actual 
'Apollos...' condition, but it must have a spiri- 

1 c. iii. tual meaning too. 

2 Ad Rom. iv. : Ovx ws Il^rpos koX * c. i. : ovx ws 5t5a(r/ca\os aW ws 
nauXos 8LaTd(T( vfxiv' eKetvoL dwo- eh i^ v/nQp. Cf. c. iv. 

(TToXoi, iycb KaraKpLTos' iKeiyoi iXeO- ^ Ad Philad. c. v. • 




And in the conception of Ignatius the Epistles would 
represent the teaching of the Apostles just as the Gospel 
represented the historic, human, Presence of Jesus (not 
Christ). But at the same time it will be observed that 
the writer uses the word ' Gospel ' and not ' Gospels.' 
The substance of the records was as yet considered in 
its unity and not in its variety. 

It would be easy to say much more on the Apostolic 
Fathers, but enough perhaps has been said already to 
shew the value of their writings as a commentary on the 
Apostolic age\ They illustrate alike the language and 
the doctrines of the New Testament. They prove that 
Christianity was Catholic from the very first, uniting a 
variety of forms in one faith. They shew that the great 
facts of the Gospel-narrative and the substance of the 
Apostolic letters formed the basis and moulded the ex- 
pression of the common creed. They recognise the 
fitness of a Canon, and indicate the limits within which 
it must be fixed. And their evidence is the more import- 
ant when it is remembered that they speak to us from 
four great centres of the ancient Church — from Antioch 
and Alexandria, from Ephesus and Rome. One Church 
alone is silent. The Christians of Jerusalem contribute 
nothing to this written portraiture of the age. The 
peculiarities of their belief were borrowed from a con- 
ventional system destined to pass away, and did not 
embody the permanent characteristics of any particular 
type of Apostolic doctrine. The Jewish Church at 
Pella was an accommodation, if we may use the word, 
and not a form of Christianity. How ^^ its principles 

1 It is perhaps the commentary of ' Keim aller moglichen Wissenschaf- 

a childlike age ; but Mohler has ad- *ten schon enthalten.' {Patrol. 

mirably said 'auch in den geistigen 51.) 
• Aeusserungen des Kindes ist der 




influenced the Church of the next age will be seen 
in the following Chaper\ 

^ Papias perhaps might have been 
noticed in this Chapter, but I believe 
that he belongs properly to the next 
generation. The testimony to the 
Gospel of St Mark which he quotes 

from the presbyter John must how- 
ever be considered as drawn from the 
Apostolic age. It will be convenient 
to notice this when speaking of Pa- 
pias (c. ii. § i). 


On the Evangelic Words contained in the Apostolic Fathers. 

It has been said (p. 52), that the evangelic words and facts referred to in 
the Apostolic Fathers may have been derived from oral tradition, like the 
corresponding references in the Apostolic Epistles. The student will be 
able to draw his own conclusion as to the source from which the evangelic 
words were derived if the evidence is briefly placed before him. The 
references to the words of the Lord are : 

i. (a) Clement, c. xiii. fxeixvyfixhoL tCjv \(rfwv rou Kvplov 'l-qaov ovs 
iXdXrjaeu 8t8d(TKUv iirieiKeiav Koi fiaKpodvfdaw oi/'rwj yap elirev : 
iXeare tva, iXerjdrJTe. 
a(pleTe tva dcpeOfj vfuv. 
ws 7roi€ire, ovtu) iroLr^dr^ceTai vfuy. 
ws diSoTe, ovtus bod-qcreTai vjxiu. 
ojs Kplvere, ovtws Kpidi^cyerai vfuv. 

If) p.€Tp(p p.eTpe'ire, iv avTip pLtrptid-qcreTai. vplv. 

Now if this passage be compared with the parallels in St Matthew 
(v. 7; vi. 14; vii. 2, 12) and St Luke (vi. 31, 36, 37, 38; iv. 38), it will, 
I think, be felt that the markedly symmetrical form of Clement's version 
indicates a free and yet deliberate handling of the contents of the Gospels. 
It is in style later than our Gospels, whether it was shaped by Clement or 
at an earlier time. The use of xpV<^t^^, xPV(^'revofjt.aL is interesting because 
the word XPV<^'''^^ occurs in combination with olKTipp.wv in Just. Ap. i. 15 ; 
Dial. 96. See below, chap. ii. 

(P) Clement, c. xlvi. fivrjadiJTe tZv Xdywv Ttjo-ou tov Kvpiov r)p.Qv' eXirev 
yap' oval tu) dvdpooTru) iKetvu}' koXou riv avT(^ el ovk kyevvrjdri, rj ^va tQjv 
^kKcktZv /jlov ffKavdaXiaai' Kpetrrov yfv avT(^ TrepiTedijuai p,6Xov Kai Karairov- 
TiadTJvai els ttju ddXaacav, tj ha tu)V fiiKpuiv fiov crKavdaXiaai. 

The parallels are Matt. xxvi. 24; Mark xiv. 21, and Matt, xviii. 6, 7; 
Mark ix. 42 ; Luke xvii. 1,2. The words may be a recollection of our 
Gospels. Comp. Lightfoot, /.c. 

But it has been argued that the words in c. xiii. (and the same applies 
to xlvi.) are introduced 'with a remark implying a well-known record... 
and in a way suggesting careful and precise quotation of the very words ' 
{Supern. Rel. \. 230 f.). Clement's words are (as we have seen), 'remem- 




bering the words of the Lord Jesus which He spake. ..for thus He said...' 
{/xefifTj/xeuoL tQu \6ycov tov Kvpiov 'l7]crov...ovT(as yap eTwev). Now the 
corresponding words in the passage of the Acts, xx. 35, are 'you ought. 
remember the words of the Lord Jesus that He Himself said' {5ei.../xv7)fio- 
peijeip Twv Xdycav tov KvpLov 'Irjcrov on, avrbs eZTreif), and I can see no reason 
for referring the quotation assigned to St Paul in this latter passage to any 
'well-known record.' Moreover in the context of Clement the contrast 
between the 'words of the Lord Jesus' and 'that which is written' (1 Sam. 
ii. 10; Jerem. ix. 73, 24), appears to be marked; and both are included in 
the phrase 'the command and the injunctions,' which follows. Some 
difficulty has been felt as to the source of the reference in c. xliv, Kai ol 
dTTooToXoi T^fiu)!' ^yi>03(jav 5td rov Kvpiov i^fiQu 'Irjcov XpLcrrov, otl ?pLi (-arai 
iiri TOV oud/xaTos ttjs eincrKOTrrjs. Yet the words seem to be a very natural 
deduction from such sayings of the Lord as are preserved in Matt, xxiii. 8 ff.; 
XX. 20 ff. Perhaps they point to the origin of the traditional saying in 
Justin Dial. 35. See below. 

(7) In c. XV. Clement quotes a passage from Isaiah (xxix. 13) in a 
form dijfiferent from that of the LXX. and like that in which it is found in 
St Mark vii. 6 (comp. Matt. xv. 8) with the single difference of aireaTiv for 
dTT^X^i. The passage is just one of those general statements which easily 
become moulded orally into a traditional form, and it appears to be quite 
insufficient to shew that Clement was dependent for it on the text of St 

ii. Ignatius, (a) The one saying directly attributed to the Lord in 
the Ignatian Epistles occurs in ad Smyrn. iii. or^ irphs toi)s wepl JliTpoj/ 
rfkdev ^<p7i avToXs' AdjSere, ^prfKacp'jcraT^ /le, Kai tdeTe otl ovk dpi 5ca/j.6vLou 
do-ti/xaroj'. This saying, which was found in part in the Doctrine of Peter, 
and the Nazarean Gospel (comp. Introd. to the Study of the Gospels, App. 
C. 16), is in all probability a traditional (and later) form of the words 
recorded in Luke xxiv. 39^. 

(jS) There are several coincidences with Evangelic words which deserve 
to be mentioned : 

ad Eph. V. II Matt, xviii. 19. 

id. vi. II Matt. x. 40 (a general correspondence in sense). 

ad Trail, xi. ovtou yap oCk elai. <pvTda TruTpds \\ Matt, xv, 13, Tracra 
(pVTeia rjv ovk €<p6Teva€U 6 iraTtjp p.ov... 

\ad Roin. vi. || Matt. xvi. 26 (an interpolation)]. 

ad Rom, vii. 6 apx^v tov alQvos toOtov diapTrdcrac /xe ^oiXeTai. Cf. 
John xvi. II. ' 

id. h8up ^iov... Cf. John iv. 14; vii. 38, 

id. apTov d6ov...'6i eari, (Tap^ 'Irjaov XpicTTov. Cf. John vi. 51. It is, 
I think, quite impossible to understand the Ignatian passage without pre- 
supposing a knowledge of the discourse recorded by St John. 

ad Philad. vii. Th Trvevp,a...ol5€u...7r6d6v ^px^rat. Kai irov virdyei kuI to. 
KpvTTTa iXiyx^i-' Cf. John iii, 8 (an apparent use of familiar words in a 
different connexion). 

1 I am at a loss to understand how any 
one who looks at the connexion in ad Philad. 
vii. can suppose that in the words 'The 
' Spirit proclaimed, saying thus : Without the 
'Bishop do nothing, &c.' we have 'an apo- 
' cryphal writing quoted as Holy Scripture ' 
{^Supernat. Ret. p. 278). The cpntrast 

throughout is between the natural knowledge 
(/card (7dpAca)of Ignatius and the divine Spirit 

by which he was moved. 'Expavyacra rijJ 

e-mcTKOiTfa npoaexere . . . . (i.dpTV9 Se jotot iv <Z on dnh <Tapico<; dfOpionivr)? ovk eyv<iiv' 
tI 6e TTvevixa iKrjpvcraeu Xeytav rdSe ' x^P^S 
ToO emtTKonov /u,rj5ei« Troteire k.t.A. 




iii. Poly- 

iv. Barna- 

(c. xii.) 

raj voaovs jSdorafe 

Matt. xix. 12, Svvdfievos xwpetv 
Matt. viii. 17, auT6y...Ta5 

ad Smyrn. vi. 

a^ Polyc. i. Trdurcov 
vocrovs e^daracrev. 

id. ii. (ppopcfios yiuov ws 6^ts ej* aTraaiv Kal dK^paios cJs 17 Trepiarepd || 
Matt. X. 16, yiveo'de <ppQvip.oi ws oi ^0eis /cai dK^paioi ws al ■KepiaTepaL, 

iii. (a) PoLYCARP, c. ii. /xvTj/JioveiovTes dv direv 6 Ktjpios diSdaKuV 

fir] Kpivere ha p.T) KpLdrJTe. 

dcpiere Kal dcpedi^aeTai vfup. 

e'Xeeire iVa eXerjdrjre. 

4) fxiTpCi} fjl.€Tp€?T€, dvTipieTpT]9i^(xeTai VfUU. 

Kal OTL pLaKapLOL ol TTTOJXol Kal oi diooKopLcvoL heKev diKaioavPT}^, 6tl ai)T<2v 
earlv rj ^aaCKeia toO deov. 

The parallels in our Gospels are Matt. vii. i ; vi. 14 (Luke vi. 37) ; v. 7; 
Luke vi. 38 (Matt. vii. 2); Luke vi. 20 (Matt. v. 3); Matt. v. 10. The 
last clauses are evidently compressed in quotation from whatever source 
they may have been derived. The first clauses have points of resemblance 
with Clement's quotation (see p. 60), and more especially the introductory 
clause, so that Polycarp's words are probably influenced by Clement's. 
But at any rate the differences in order and phraseology in Clement's and 
Polycarp's quotations, shew conclusively that they were not derived from 
any one record different from our Gospels. 

c. vii. alTovpi,€vos rbv TavTeiroirTriv dehv /at? dffeveyKeiv ^juSs eZs irnpaapJiv^ 
Ka6u)s direv 6 KvpLor rb pukv Trvevfia irpodvpLOv 17 5^ adp^ dadevris |1 Matt. vi. 
13; xxvi. 41; Mark xiv. 38. 

(P) Two coincidences of language may be noticed : 

c. v. Kara Tr]v dX-qdeiav rod KvpLov 0$ eyivero dtdKovos irdvroiv. Comp. 
Matt. XX. 28 ; Mark ix. 35. 

c. vi. e^ odv deopt-eda toO Kvpiov tva rjpuv dtpy^ 6<pd\opL€v Kal iipLeii d<f>Uv(U, 
Comp. Matt. vi. 12, 14; Luke xi. 4. 

There are no supposed allusions to apocryphal writings in Polycarp. 

iv. Barnabas, c. iv. irpocix^l^^v p-Tjirore ws yiypairrai ttoWoI KXrjrol 
oXlyoi dk cKXeKTol evpedwpLev. \\ Matt. xxii. 14. It is possible that this 
proverbial phrase introduced by the form of scriptural quotation ' it is 
written ' may have been referred by the writer (rightly or wrongly) to some 
scripture of the Old Testament. 

The question as to its source is beset by much difficulty. Dr Sanday, 
Lc. 71 ff., and Mr Cunningham, I.e. Ixxxvi. f., both incline to refer the 
quotation to St Matthew. 

c. V. Toil's Idiovs diro(rT6\ovs...i^e\^^aTO ovras virhp irdcrav apbapriav 
dvopiWT^povs, Xva hel^y otl ovk rjKde Kakiaai diKaiovs dXXot duapTUiXovs. \\ Matt, 
ix. 13; Mark ii. 1 7 (ei's p-erdvoiav is an addition in the texts of the Gospels 
and of Barnabas). 

Other parallels have been noticed: c. iv. (Matt. xxv. 5fF.); c. v. (Matt, 
xxvi. 31). Comp. Hefele, s. 233. The clause (Luke vi. 30) in c. xix. is 
probably an interpolation ; and it seems most likely that the reference to 
the brazen serpent as a type of Christ was derived directly from the Old 
Testament, or at least not from John iii. 

Barnabas has been supposed to refer to two sayings of our Lord 
which are not found in our Gospels. 

(a) c. iv. Sicut dicit filius Dei: Resistamus omni iniquitati et odio 
habeamus eam. 

So the words stood in the Latin version; but the Greek text of t5 reads 




ws Trpiirei vloXs Oeov, so that there can be no doubt that the first clause is a 
corruption of skui decet Jilios Dei. The quotation therefore disappears 
though Reuss still refers to the verse as an apocryphal saying of Christ 
{Hist, du Canon, -26 n.). 

(/3) c. vii. oi/'rw, ^-qci, ol diXovris /xe ISeiv Kal dxpaadai fiov ttjs ^aacXelas 
dcpeiXova-t, dXi^^vres koI wadoures Xa^eiu fxe. 

These words appear to be a free reminiscence of the saying contained in 
Matt. xvi. 24, compared with Acts xiv. 22. No trace of them, as far as I 
know, occurs elsewhere. 

In the passage, c. vi. X^yei Kvpios' Idoi/ ttoi^ctw to, iaxo-ra ws to. irpQra, 
the context, no less than the phrase Xiyei Kvpios, shews that the reference is 
to some passage of the Old Testament: e.^. Ezek. xxxvi. 11. 

An examination of these passages will confirm what has been said 
generally, pp. 51 f. The result may be briefly summed up in the following 
propositions : 

1. No Evangelic reference in the Apostolic Fathers can be referred 
certainly to a written record. 

2. It appears most probable from the form of the quotations that they 
were derived from oral tradition. 

3. No quotation contains any element which is not substantially pre- 
served in our Gospels. 

4. When the text given differs from the text of our Gospels, it repre- 
sents a later form of the Evangelic tradition. 

5. The text of St Matthew corresponds more nearly than the other 
synoptic texts with the quotations and references as a whole. 


Chap. ii. 

The wide 
scope of the 
of this 


by the new 
relation of 
the Church 
to the Em- 


A.D. 120 — 170. 

Oi) cnuTrjs jxbvov rb ^pyov, dWa fxeyidovs i<XTlv 6 XpiaTiauiafios. 

/gnat/ us. 

THE writings of the Apostolic age were all moulded 
in the same form, and derived from the same rela- 
tion of Christian life. As they represented the mutual 
intercourse of believers, so they rested on the foundation 
of a common rule and shewed the peculiarities of a 
common dialect. The literature of the next age was 
widely different both in scope and character\ It in- 
cluded almost every form of prose composition — letters, 
chronicles, essays, apologies, visions, tales — and answer- 
ed to the manifold bearings of Christianity on the 
worlds The Church had then to maintain its ground 
amid systematic persecution, organized heresies, and 
philosophic controversy. The name of the Christian 
had already become a by-word' ; and it was evident 
that they were free alike from Jewish superstition and 
Gentile polytheism*: they were no longer sheltered by 
the old title of Jews, and it became needful that they 

-^ Cf. Mohler, ss. 179 fF. 

2 It is probable that some of the 
Christian parts of the Sibylline Ora- 
cles (Libb. VI., VII.) also fall within 
this period. Cf. Friedlieb, Oracula 
Sibyllina, Einleit. ss. Ixxi., lii. 

Very little is known of the pro- 
phecies of Hystaspes. Cf. Eiicke, 
Comm. ii, d. Schriften des Ev. Jo- 
hannes, IV. I. ss. 45 f. 

3 Just. Mart. Ap. I. 4. (p. 10, n. 4. 

^ Ep. ad Diogn. i. : 6piv...v7rep- 
ecnrovdaKora ae ttjp deocri^eiav rdv 
'KptaTiavCov (xad€Lv...TlvL re Qec^ ire- 
TToiOores, Kal 7rc3s 6p-qaKe{)ovTes...oiiTe 
Toi>s vofii^ofi&ovs virb tCov "EAX^j'wj' 
deoiis Xoyl^ovTai, oCre ttjv 'lov5aio}p 
deiaidaifMOuiav (pyXdacrovai... The whole 
passage is very interesting as shew- 
ing how the object and form of Chris- 
tian worship, and the character of 
the Christian life, would strike a 
thoughtful man at the time. 




should give an account of the faith for which they sought 
protection. The Apostolic tradition was insufficient to 
silence or condemn false teachers who had been trained 
in the schools of Athens or Alexandria ; but now that 
truth was left to men it was upheld by wisdom. New 
champions were raised up to meet the emergency ; and 
some of these did not scruple to maintain the doctrines 
of Christianity in the garb of philosophers. 

But although the entire literature of the age was thus 
varied, the fragments of it which are left scarcely do 
more than witness to its extent. The letter to Diogne- 
tus, the Clementine homilies, the Testaments of the 
twelve Patriarchs, and some of the writings of Justin, 
alone survive in their original form. In addition to 
these there are two Latin translations of the Shepherd 
of Hermas as well as a large fragment of the original 
Greek, a Syriac translation of the Apology of Melito, 
and a series of precious quotations from lost books, 
preserved chiefly by the industry of Eusebius\ The 
Exposition of Papias, the Treatises of Justin and 
Agrippa Castor against Heresies, the numerous works 
of Melito with the exception of the Apology, the Chro- 
nicles of Hegesippus, have perished, and with them the 
most natural and direct sources of information on the 
history of this period of the Church. 

It does not however seem to have been a mere acci- 
dent which preserved the writings of Justin. As the 
Apologists were the truest representatives of the age, soy 
was he in many respects the best type of the natural 
character of the Greek Apologist. For him philosophy 
was truth, reason a spiritual power, Christianity the 
fulness of both. The Apostolic Fathers exhibit their 
faith in its inherent energy; their successors shew in 

1 Collected by Routli, Reliquics Sacr(B (Ed. 2, Oxon. 1846). 
C. F 

Ghap. ii. 
to Heresies, 

and to Phi- 

The remains 
of it however 
are scanty. 

Yet yustin 
the charaC' 
Greek ApO' 
logist, and 
so of the age. 



Chap. ii. 

•work of the 
j>eriod — the 
settlement of 
the relation 
of Christian- 
ity to Hea- 

what way it was the satisfaction of the deepest wants of 
humanity — the sum of all 'knowledge;' it was reserved 
for the Latin Apologists to apprehend its independent 
claims, and establish its right to supplant, as well as 
to fulfil what was partial and vague in earlier systems. 
The time was not ripe for this when Justin wrote, for 
there is a natural order in the development of truth. As 
Christianity was shewn to be the true completion of 
Judaism before the Church was divided from the syna- 
gogue ; so it was well that it should be clearly set forth 
as the centre to which old philosophies converged before 
it was declared to supersede them. In each case the 
fulfilment and interpretation of the old was the ground- 
work and beginning of the new. The pledge of the 
future lay in the satisfaction of the past. 

This then was one great work of the time, that Apo- 
logists should proclaim Christianity to be the Divine 
answer to the questionings of Heathendom, as well as 
the antitype to the Law, and the hope of the Prophets. 
To a great extent the task was independent of the 
direct use of Scripture. Those who discharged it had to 
deal with the thoughts, and not with the words of the 
Apostles — with the facts, and not with the records of 
Christ's life. Even the later Apologists abstained from 
quoting Scripture in their addresses to heathen ; and the 
practice was still more alien from the object and posi- 
tion of the earliest^ The arguments of philosophy and 
history were brought ' forward first, that men might be 
gradually familiarized to the light ; the use of Scripture 
was for a while deferred [dilatcB patdispcr divines lectio- 
nes), that they might not be blinded by the sudden sight 
of its unclouded glory^ 

^ Justin's use of the/r(3/^m^j of the nile; but this will be noticed in § 7. 
Old Testament is no exception to the f Lactant. Instit. v. 4. 




The recognition of Christianity as a revelation which 
had not only a general, but also in some sense a special 
message for the heathen was co-ordinate with its final 
separation from the Mosaic rituaP. This separation was 
the second great work of the period. It is difficult to 
trace the progress of its consummation, though the 
result was the firm establishment of the Catholic Church. 
But by the immediate reaction which accompanied it 
one type of Apostolic Christianity was brought out with 
great clearness, without which the circle of its secondary 
developments would have been incomplete. The old 
party of the Circumcision once again rose up to check 
the revolution which was on the eve of accomplishment. 
Yet the conflict which was then carried on was not the 
repetition, but the sequel of that of the Apostolic age^ 
The great crisis out of which it sprang impressed it with 
a peculiar character. The Christians of Jerusalem had 
clung to their ancient law, till their national hopes 
seemed to be crushed for ever by the building of ^lia, 
and the establishment of a Gentile Church within the 
Holy City. Then at length men saw that they were 

1 Just. Mart. Ap. I. 46: Ot fx^rh. 
Xdyov ^luaavres Xpiartavoi elai koLv 
adeoi €vo/j.i(r6r]aav, olov ev"^Xk'f]ai fxkv 
2aj/c/)dT7?s Kal "Hpd/cXetroj Koi ol 
ofjioioL avTOLS, iv , pap^dpoii 5^ 'A/3/)a- 
dfi...CL Ap. II. 13. 

2 Some modern writers have con- 
founded together the different steps 
by which the distinctions of Jew and 
Gentile were removed in the Chris- 
tian Church. Since it is of great im- 
portance to a right understanding of 
the early history of Christianity that 
they should be clearly distinguished, 
it may not be amiss to mention them 
here : 

I. The admission of Gentiles (in 
the first instance eiyo-e/Seij) to the 
Christian Church. Acts x., xi. 

2. The freedom of Gentile con- 
verts from the Ceremonial Law. 
Acts XV. 

3. The indifference of the Cere- 
monial Law for Jewish converts. 
Gal. ii. 14 — 16; Acts xxi. 20 — 26. 

4. The incompatibility of Juda- 
ism with Christianity. 

The first three — that is the essen- 
tial — principles are recognized in 
Scripture ; the last, which intro- 
duces no new element, is evolved in 
the history of the Church. This is 
an instance of the true 'Develop- 
ment,' which organizes, but does not 

The first three stages are fully 
discussed by Bp Lightfoot, Gala- 
tians, Essay iii. pp. 276 ff. 

F 2 

Chap, ii. 

The second 
work of the 
period — the 
separation of 
from Juda' 

A reaction. 

The crisis by 
which this 
was brought 



Chap. ii. 

How it was 
ed from the 
conflicts of 
the Apostolic 

Its influence 
071 Christian 

The Litera- 

already in the new age — the world to come: they saw that 
the kingdom of heaven, as distinguished from the typical 
kingdom of Israel, was now set up ; and it seemed 
that the Gospel of St Paul was to be the common law 
of its citizens. Under the pressure of these circum- 
stances the Judaizing party naturally made a last effort 
to regain their original power. It was only possible to 
maintain what had ceased to be national by asserting 
that it was universal. The discussions of the first age 
were thus reproduced in form, but they had a wider 
bearing. The struggle was not for independence but 
for dominion. The Gentile Christians no longer claimed 
tolerance, but supremacy. They had been established 
on an equality with the Jewish Church ; but now, when 
they were on the point of becoming paramount, the 
spirit which had opposed St Paul was roused to its 
greatest activity. 

Apart from heretical writings the effect of this move- 
ment may be traced under various forms in the contem- 
porary literature. The orthodox members of the He- 
brew Churches were not uninfluenced by the general 
movement which agitated the body to which they be- 
longed. They were impelled to write, and their activity 
took a characteristic direction. As the Apologists re- 
present the Greek element in the Church, so the Jewish 
is represented by the chroniclers Papias and Hegesippus. 
The tendency to that which is purely rational and ideal 
is thus contrasted with that towards the sensuous and 
the material \ 

In one respect however Christian literature still pre- 

^ The Clement'mes stand in a pe- archs are in the main orthodox in 

culiar position as the embodiment of doctrine, and recognise the authority 

individual rather than popular opi- of St Paul, while they contain at the 

nion ; and it is perhaps due to this same time a very remarkable esti- 

fact that they have been preserved, mate of the priestly claims of Levi. 

The Testaments of the Twelve Patri- See below. 




served the same form as in the Apostolic age. It was 
wholly Greek: the work of the Latin churches was as 
yet to be wrought in silenced It is the more important 
to notice this, because the permanent characteristics of 
the national literatures of Greece and Rome reappear 
with powerful effect in patristic writings. On the one 
side there is universality, freedom, large sympathy, deep 
feeling : on the other there is individuality, system, order, 
logic. The tendency of the one mind is towards truth, 
of the other towards law I In the end, when the objects 
are the highest truth and the deepest law, they will 
achieve the same results, but the process will be dif- 
ferent. This difference is not without its bearing on the 
history of the New Testament. From their very con- 
stitution Greek writers would be inclined in the first 
instance to witness, not to the Canon of Scripture, but 
to the substance of its teaching. 

§ I. Papias^. 
The first and last names of this period — Papias and 
of Hegesippus — belong to the early Christian chroniclers, 
who have been taken to represent the Judaizing party 
of the time. Papias, a friend of Polycarp, was Bishop of 
Hierapolis in Phrygia* in the early part of the second 
century. According to some accounts he was a disciple 
of the Apostle St John^; but Eusebius, who was ac- 

ject of exhaustive articles by Bp 
Lightfoot : Cotitemporary Review, 
Aug. 1867; Aug. Oct. 1875. 

* This follows from Hieron. de 
Virr. III. 18; Papias... Hierapolita- 
nus Episcopus in Asia; and also 
from a comparison of Euseb. H. E. 
ni. .36, 39, 31- 

5 This is maintained by Routh, I. 
p. 22, sqq. On the other hand, cf. 
Davidson, Introd. I. 425, sqq. 

tiire however 
still "wholly 

1" Of the Greek literature of the 
Italian Churches we shall speak here- 

2 As a familiar instance of these 
characteristic differences we may re- 
fer to the marked distinction in form 
and tone between the Nicene Creed 
and the Latin Exposition of the Creed 
Quicunque vult ; or between the East- 
ern and Western types of the same 
Creed {Nicene Creed, Apostles' Creed). 

3 Papias has been made the sub- 



qualnted with his writings, affirms that his teacher was 
the Presbyter and not the Apostle ; and the same con- 
clusion appears to follow from his own language \ 

A church was formed at Hierapolis in very early 
times ^; and it afterwards became the residence of the 
Apostle Philip and his daughters^, whose tomb was 
shewn there in the third century*. This fact seems to 
point to some close connection with the churches of 
Judaea ; but the city was also remarkable in another 
respect. The Epistle of St Paul to the neighbouring 
church of Colossae proves that even in the Apostolic 
age the characteristic extravagance of the province — 
the home of the Galli and Corybantes — was already 
manifested in the corruption of Christianity; and it is 
not unreasonable to attribute the extreme Chiliasm of 
Papias to the same influence ^ 

1 Euseb. H. E. iii. 39. ' I used 

* to inquire, ' he says, ' when I met 

* any who had been acquainted with 
'the Elders, of the teaching of the 

* Elders — what Andrew or Peter said 
'■ {dTT^v)...ox John or Matthew. .:or 

* any other of the Lord's disciples; as 
' what Aristion and the Elder (Pres- 
'byter) John, the Lord's disciples, 
'say (X^yovcrtj/).' The natural inter- 
pretation of these words can only be 
that the Apostles — Elders in the 
highest sense, i Pet. v. i — were al- 
ready dead when Papias began his 
investigations, and that he distin- 
guished two of the name of John, one 
an Apostle, and another the Presby- 
ter who M'as alive at that time. Dr 
Milligan has stated very ably all that 
can be urged in favour of identifying 
the Apostle and the Presbyter {Journ. 
of Sac. Lit. Oct. 1867), but his argu- 
ments fail to convince me. 

2 Coloss. iv. 13. See Bp Light- 
foot, /. c. It is said that Papias suf- 
fered martyrdom (Steph. Gobar. ap. 
Cave, I. 29) at Pergamum in the time 

of Aurelius (a.D. 164), under whom 
Polycarp and Justin Martyr also suf- 
fered [Chron. Alex. I. c); but this is 
more than doubtful. See Lightfoot, 
Colossians, p. 48, n. 

His work was probably written 
at a late period of his life (c. 140 — 
150), since he speaks of those who 
had been disciples of the Apostles as 
now dead. His inquiries were made 
some time before he wrote [av^Kpi- 
vov), and he had treasured up the 
tradition in his memory (/caXws eixv-q- 
ixbv€v<xa). The necessity for such a 
work as his would not indeed be felt, 
as Rettig has well observed, till the 
first generation after the Apostles 
had passed away. Cf. Thiersch, 
Versuch u. s. zu. s. 438. 

3 Euseb. H. E. in. 31. Cf. Routh, 
II. 25. 

^ Euseb. H. E. ill. 31, on the au- 
thority of Caius. 

^ The peculiar form which this 
Chiliasm took is seen best in the 
narrative given on the authority of 
'presbyters who saw John the dis- 




Since he stood on the verge of the first age Papias 
naturally set a high value on the Evangelic traditions 
still current in the Church. These he preserved, as he 
tells us, with zeal and accuracy ; and afterwards embo- 
died them in five books, entitled *An Exposition of 
Oracles of the Lord' (^Ko^i(ov KvpcaKcov e^rfryr^cn^^). There 
is however no reason to suppose that he intended to 
compose a Gospel; and the very name of his treatise 
implies the contrary. The traditions which he collected 
do not appear to have formed the staple of his book ; 
but they were introduced as illustrative of his explana- 
tion. ' Moreover,' he says, \ I must tell you that I shall 
*not scruple to place side by side with my interpreta- 

* tions all that I ever rightly learnt from the elders and 

* rightly remembered, solemnly affirming that it is trueV 

* ciple of the Lord ' by Irenseus. ' The 
Mays will come,' thus they repre- 
sented the Lord teaching, ' in which 

* vines will spring up, each having 
' ten thousand stems, and on one stem 

* ten thousand branches, and on each 

* branch ten thousand shoots, and on 
*each shoot ten thousand clusters, 
*and on each cluster ten thousand 

* grapes, and each grape when pressed 

* shall give five and twenty measures 
' of wine. And when any of the saints 

* shall have taken hold of one cluster, 
' another shall cry out : I am a better 
*clustei-, take ibe, through me bless 
*the Lord.'... 'These things,' Irenoe- 
us goes on to say, ' Papias also tes- 

* tifies in the fourth of his books, and 
' added moreover : these things are 

* credible to believers. And when 
'Judas the traitor believed not, and 

* asked Bow then will such prodtic- 

* tions be brought about by the Lord? 

* he relates that the Lord said They 

* shall see zvho shall come to those 

* times J (Iren. v. 33.) It is not 
difficult to see the true Evangelic 
element which lies at the bottom of 
this strange tradition. 

1 Pap. ap. Euseb. H. E. iii. 39 : 
ovK dKVTJao} 8i aoc koL oaa irork irapa 
tCov irpea^vT^pcov KaXcDs ^fxadov Kai 
KokQs ifMurj/jLofevcra, avyKaraTd^ai 
ra IS €pfir]veiais, dia^e^aioijfxevos 
VTrkp avrdv d\-qdeiav, k.t.X. It is 
important to notice that the title is 
without the definite article, just as 
Ilpd^eis dTTocTToKwv. 

2 In accordance with this view of 
Papias' book we find him mentioned 
with Clement, Pantsenus, and Am- 
monius, as 'one of the ancient In- 
' terpreters {i^rrYflTGiv) who agreed to 
'understand the Hexaemeron as re- 
'ferring to Christ and the Church' 
(fr. ix., X.). Compare also Euseb. 
H. E. V. 8, with reference to Iren. 
IV. 27 and similar passages, e^ri'yrjaei.s 
avToO [aTTOffToXiKou TLvos trpea^vr^pov] 
deiwv ypacpCov TrapaTideTai. 

The passage quoted by Irenseus 
from 'the Elders' (v. ad /.) may 
probably be taken as a specimen 
of his style of interpretation. '[At 
'the time of the restoration of all 
' things,] as the presbyters say, they 
' who have been held worthy of life 
'in heaven shall go thither, and 

Chap. ii. 

An account 
of his work. 

His own de- 
scription 0/ 



Chap. ii. 

// was expo- 
sitory, and 
not narra' 

The apologetic tone of the sentence, its construction (Se), 
the mention of his interpretations [al kp^xrivelai), convey 
the idea that his reference to tradition might seem 
unnecessary to some, and that it was in fact only a 
secondary object : — in other words, they imply that 
there were already recognised records of the teaching 
of Christ which he sought to expound. For this purpose 
he might well go back to the Apostles themselves, and 
' make it his business to inquire what they said,' believ- 
ing 'that the information which he could draw from 
'books was not so profitable as that which was pre- 

served in a living tradition^' 

' others shall enjoy the indulgence of 
' Paradise, and others shall possess 
' the splendour of the City ; for every 
' where the Saviour shall be seen as 
* they who see Him shall be worthy. 
'This distinction of dwelling, they 
'taught, exists between those who 
'brought forth a hundred-fold, and 
' those who brought forth sixty-fold, 
' and those who brought forth thirty- 
'fold (Matt. xiii. 8)... and it was for 
' this reason the Lord said that in 
' His Father's house (iv rois tov Ha- 
' Tp6s) are many mansions (John xiv. 
'2).*^ Indeed, from the similar mode 
of introducing the story of the vine, 
which is afterwards referred to Pa- 
pias (p. 70, note 5), it is reasonable 
to conjecture that this interpretation 
is one from Papias' Exposition. The 
passage changes from the direct to 
the oblique form ; but no scholar, I 
imagine, would doubt for a moment 
that the second part, where I have 
marked the oblique construction by in- 
troducing 'they taught,' is a continua- 
tion of the quotation ois ol irpea^v- 
repoL \4yov<7i, rdre oi fx^v...x<^PWOV' 
CTLU, ot d^...oi 54... dual 6^ T7)u otacrro- 
Xtjv Ta&T'nv. . .Twv . . .KapirofpopoduTOJu uiv 
ol iiiv...0L M...oi di...Kai 8ta tovto 
elprjKhaL rhv Kvplov... I should not 
have thought it necessary to call at- 

tention to this obvious point if a 
critic had not quoted a number of pas- 
sages with dia TOVTO (propter hoc) and 
the indicative to shew that this obliqne 
sentence is a comment of Irenceus. 

This view which I have given of 
the object of the work of Papias is 
supported with illustrations by Bp 
Lightfoot {Cont. Rev. Aug. 1867, pp. 
405, 6, id. Aug. 1875, 399 ff.); and 
it is indeed surprising that the account 
of it should have received any other 

' The books ' of which Papias speaks 
may have been some of the strange 
mystical commentaries current at 
very early times among the Simoni- 
ans and Valentinians. See Light- 
foot, //. cc. There is not the slightest 
ground for supposing that he referred 
to our Gospels or records like them. 

1 Eusebius, /. c, gives some ac- 
count of the traditional stories which 
he collected ; among others he men- 
tions that of 'a woman accused be- 
'fore our Lord of many sins,' gene- 
rally identified with the disputed 
pericope,}o\iny\\.$'3, — viii. 11. Itisnot 
superfluous to observe that Eusebius 
does not say that Papias derived this 
narrative from the Gospel according 
to the Hebrews {Super n. Rel. i. 
p. 426), or that he used that Gospel 




Papias, in other words, claimed for himself the office 
of expositor and not of historian. * Oracles of the Lord ' 
are presupposed as the basis of his work, and not for the 
first time set forth in it. So far, therefore, from it being 
possible to deduce from the object of Papias in under- 
taking the Exposition that he was unacquainted with 
any authoritative Evangelic records, his purpose ^eems 
to be unintelligible unless there were definite anld fa- 
miliar narrations which called for such illustration ^as 
could be provided. The fragments which remain can in 
fact be brought into a natural connection with passages 
of our Gospels ; and a careful consideration of the exact 
title shews the limit of the Exposition. It made no 
claim to completeness. It was 'an Exposition of Oracles 
' of the Lord ' and not ' of the Oracles of the Lord '— 
such a summary {ret Xoyca) as, for instance, St Matthew 

This conclusion, which we have drawn from the appa- 
rent aim of Papias' work, is strongly confirmed by the 
direct testimony which he bears to our Gospels. It has 
been inferred already that some Gospel was current in 
his time ; he tells us that the Gospels of St Matthew 
and St Mark were so. Of the former he says : ' Mat- 
' thew composed the oracles in Hebrew ; and each one 
'interpreted them as he was able\' The form of the 

at all. Indeed if Eusebius had known piaKo. \6yia — the Gospel — the sum of 
that Papias derived the narrative from the words and works of the Lord, 
this particular source, he would hardly The sense, I believe, would be 
have said 'a narrative which the Gos- best expressed in this passage by the 
* pel according to the Hebrews con- translation ' Matthew composed his 
^tains' {l(TTopiav...rjuT6 Ka6"Ej3paiovi Gospel in Hebrew,' giving to the 
evayy^Xioi* irepiix'^i). To these must word its necessary notion of scrip- 
be added the account of Judas {fr, tural authority. Cf. Acts vii. 38 ; 
iii. Routh). Rom. iii. 2; Heb. v. 12; i Pet. iv. 
^ Euseb. /. c: Mar^atos fih ovv 11. Polyc. ad Phil, c vii.; Clem. 
EjSpaiSi 8La\iKT(p rb. Xbyia aweypd- ad Cor. I. 19, 53. 
■^paro' Tjpfxrjvevae 5' avra cos rjv 8vva- Davidson (Jntrod. I. 65* sqq.) has 
t6s haaros. It is difficult to give reviewed the other interpretations of 
the full meaning of rd \6yi.a, to. kv- the word. 

Chap. ii. 

Papias^ tes' 
titnony to 
the Gospels. 




Chap. ii. 

St Mark. 

sentence {jxev ovv) would seem to introduce this state- 
ment as the result of some inquiry, and it may perhaps 
be referred to the presbyter John ; but all that needs to 
be particularly remarked is that when Papias wrote, the 
Aramaic Gospel of St Matthew was already accessible 
to Greek readers : the time was then past when each 
one was his own interpreter \ 

The account which he gives of the Gospel of St Mark 
is full of interest : ' This also/ he writes, ' the Elder 
' [John] used to say, Mark, having become Peter's in- 
'terpreter, wrote accurately all that he remembered^; 
' though he did not [record] in order that which was 
'either said or done by Christ. For he neither heard 
* the Lord, nor followed Him ; but subsequently, as I 

1 It has been argued that this 
statement of Papias cannot be used 
to establish the authority of our Ca- 
nonical St Matthew for two reasons : 
(i) Papias speaks only of a Hebrew 
Gospel; and (2) the description can- 
not apply to the present Gospel. 

1. As to the first objection, it is 
enough to say that Eusebius, who 
had the full text of Papias before 
him, evidently understood the words 
to apply to the original form of our 
Greek Gospel ; and that the long 
chain of writers who affirm the He- 
brew original of St Matthew accept 
the present Greek text as apostolic 
without the least doubt. It is idle 
to conjecture how or by whom the 
translation or reproduction was made. 
That such a translation or reproduc- 
tion would be almost inevitable is 
shewn by the experience of all writers 
in bilingual countries like Palestine. 
Comp. Iiitrod. to the Study of the 
Gospels, p. 209, note. 

2. It has been shewn that the 
use of rd Xh-^i-a for ' the Scriptures ' 
generally is fully established ; and I 
am not aware that X67ta can be used 
in the sense of \o'^oi * discourses.' 

Comp. Lightfoot, L c. 410 f. 

The form of the sentence (tjpa"?- 
yeuore 5^) proves, as has been remarked 
above, that at the time when Papias 
wrote this necessity for private trans- 
lation had ceased to exist. There 
was then, it is implied, an acknow- 
ledged representation of St Matthew's 

^ The ifj.vrjiM6vev(T€v here and (XTre- 
/jLurjfidveuaev below are ambiguous. 
They may mean either 'remember- 
ed' or ' related.' In the latter case 
the sense would be that Mark * re- 
corded all that Feter related.' The 
change of subject would be abrupt, 
but is not unexampled. On the 
other hand, Papias uses the same 
word ixv-qixoveieLv elsewhere in the 
sense 'to remember,' where there 
can be no doubt as to its meaning. 
It is perhaps worthy of notice that in 
the Clementine Recognitions St Pe- 
ter himself is represented as fixing by 
diligent effort in his own mind the 
words of Christ: 'In consuetudine 
'habui verba Domini mei, quae ab 
'ipso audieram, revocare ad memo- 
'riam...ut evigilans ad ea et singula 
* quaeque recolens ac retexens possim 
'memoriter retinere.' {Recogfi. ii. i.) 
See p. 71, n. i. 




* said, [attached himself to] Peter, who used to frame 
*his teaching to meet the [immediate] wants [of his 

* hearers] ; and not as making a connected narrative of 
*the Lord's discourses. So Mark committed no error, 
' as he wrote down some particulars just as he recalled 
*them to mind. For he took heed to one thing — to 
'omit none of the facts that he heard, and to state 
' nothing falsely in [his narrative of] themV 

It has however been argued that the Gospel here 
described cannot be the Canonical Gospel of St Mark, 
since that shews at least as clear an order as the other 
Gospels. On this hypothesis we must seek for the 
original record of which John spoke in ' the Preaching 
of Peter ' {Krjpv^jjba YLirpov) or some similar work^ In 
short, we must suppose that two different books were 
current under the same name in the times of Papias and 
Irenseus — that in the interval, which was less than fifty 
years, the older document had passed entirely into 
oblivion, or at least wholly lost its first title — that this 
substitution of the one book for the other was so secret 
that there is not the slightest trace of the time, the 
motive, the mode, of its accomplishment, and so com- 
plete that Irenaeus, TertuUian, Clement, Origen, and 
Eusebius, applied to the later Gospel what was really 
only true of that which it had replaced I And all this 

Chap. ii. 

^ Euseb. /. c. : /cat tovto 6 wpe(r^6- 
repos ^Xeye' MdpKOS fx^v epixT]vevT7}S 
Ilerpou yevofxevos 6<xa efxvTj/xovevo'ev 
d/cpt/3ws eypa\pev, ov fiivroL rd^ei ret, 
virb Tov Xptarou t} Xex^^vra rj Trpa- 
XOivra' ovre yitp iJKOvae rod KvpLov 
oijTe Trapr]Ko\ovd7](reu avr!^. varepov 
d^, ciis ^(pv^, UerpCj}, 6s irpbs tols xR^'-- 
as ^TTOtetro rds StSaa/caXias, dXX' ovx 
iacrirep avvTa^Lv tQv K-vpiaKuiv ttoiov- 
fievos X6yu)f' wcrre ovdeu TJ/xapre Map- 
Kos ovTOiS 'ivLa ypd\pas ws direixvqixb- 
vevaev ii^bs yap iiroLrjaaro irpbyoiav, 

TOV firi^kv dv rJKOVo-e irapaXnreiu 17 
ipeiaacrdai tl ev avTois. 

Burton and Heinichen rightly read 
\6yciiv, for v/hich Routh has Xoyioju. 
I do not think that \oyiojv could 
stand in such a sense. As the word 
occurs again directly, and was used 
in the title of Papias' book, the error 
was natural. 

2 Schwegler, i.458ff.; Baur, JiTri- 
tische Untersuchiingen, 538 f. 

3 Iren. III. i. i; Tertull. adv. 
Marc, IV. 5 ; Clem. Alex. ap. Euseb. 

from his de- 
scription 0/ 
St Mark's 

Its conse- 



Chap. ii. 

How we 
must binder- 
stand his 

must be believed, because it is assumed that John could 
not have spoken of our present Gospel as not arranged 
* in order.' But it would surely be far more reasonable 
to conclude that he was mistaken in his criticism than 
to admit an explanation burdened with such a series of 
improbabilities\ There is however another solution of 
the difficulty which seems preferable. The Gospel of 
St Mark is not a complete Life of Christ, but simply 
a memoir of ' some events ' in it. It is not a chrono- 
logical biography, but simply a collection of facts which 
seemed suited to the wants of a particular audience. 
St Mark had no personal acquaintance with the events 
which he recorded to enable him to place them in their 
natural order, but was wholly dependent on St Peter; 
and the special object of the Apostle excluded the idea 
of a complete narrative. The sequence observed in 
his teaching was moral, and not historical. That the 
arrangement of the other Synoptic Evangelists very 
nearly coincides with that of St Mark is nothing to the 
point : John does not say that it was otherwise. He 
merely shews, from the circumstances under which St 
Mark wrote, that his Gospel was necessarily neither 
chronological nor complete ; and under similar condi- 
tions — as in the case of St Matthew^ — it is reasonable to 
look for a like result ^ 

H. E. II. 15, VI. 14; Orig. ap. Euseb. 
//. E. VI. 25, II. 15 ; Euseb. H, E. 
II. 15 ; Dem. Evang. ill. 5. 

1 Cf. Davidson, Introd. I. 158 sq., 
who supposes that John was 'mis- 
* taken in his opinion.' 

2 Euseb. H. E. iil. 24 : Mar^atos 
likv 7otp Trpbrepov 'E/3/)atots KTjpi^as, 
ws ^jJ-eWeu Koi e4> ir^povs levai, ira- 
rpicp yXdbTTTi ypa(pri vapado'us rb /car' 
aiiTOv euayy^Xtou, to XeXirov rrj avTov 
TTapovfflq, toOtols a.(p' Jjv icrriWeTO 
dia. TTJs ypacpTJs aweirkripQV. The 

written Gospel was the sum of the 
oral Gospel. The oral Gospel was 
not, as far as we can see, a Life of 
Christ, but a selection of represen- 
tative events from it, suited in its 
great outlines to the general wants 
of the Church, and adapted by the 
several Apostles to the peculiar re- 
quirements of their special audiences 
— ivLa, ov rd^ei, irpbs ras xpefas [tQv 
&Kov6vTu}v]. H. E. III. 39. 

^ No conclusion can be drawn from 
Eusebius' silence as to express testi- 



In addition to the Gospels of St Matthew and St 
Mark, Papias appears to have been acquainted with the 
Gospel of St John\ Eusebius also says explicitly that 
he quoted * the former Epistle of John, and that of Peter 
likewise^' He maintained moreover 'the divine inspi- 
ration ' of the Apocalypse, and commented at least upon 
part of it^ 

monies of Papias to the Gospel of 
St John. Compare Lightfoot, Co- 
lossians, Pref. pp. 50 ff. ; and see 
note at the end of the chapter. 

1 In an argument prefixed to a 
Vatican MS. of the Gospel of St John 
(ix'^ cent.) the following passage oc- 
curs : ' Evangelium Johannis mani- 
festatum et datum est ecclesiis ab Jo- 
hanne adhuc in corpore constituto ; 
sicut Papias nomine Hierapolitanus, 
discipulus Johannis carus, in exote- 
ricis, id est in extremis [externis] quin- 
quelibris retulit. Descripsitvero evan- 
gelium dictante Johanne recte. Ve- 
rum Martion hsereticus, cum ab eo 
fuisset improbatus, abjectus est ab 
Johanne. Is vero scripta vel epis- 
tolas ad eum pertulerat a fratribus 
qui in Ponto fuerunt.' The text of 
the fragment is evidently corrupt, 
and it seems to have been made up 
of fragments imperfectly put together. 
But the main fact seems certainly to 
be based on direct knowledge of 
Papias' book which is rightly de- 
scribed (in...quinque libris). The 
general tenor of the account is like 
that given in the Muratorian Canon. 
Marcion, it will be remem.bered, was 
met by Polycarp (Euseb. H. E. IV. 
14), who, like Papias, belonged to 
' the School of St John.' The fact 
that Eusebius omits this statement 
about St John's Gospel must be 
taken in connexion with the other 
fact that he omits to notice the use 
which Papias made of the Apo- 
calypse. The difficulty is the same 
in both cases. There is also an 
allusion to the Gospel of St John 

in the quotation from the * Elders ' 
found in Irenseus (Lib. V. ad f.), 
which may have been taken from Pa- 
pias (fr. v. Routh, et nott.). Comp. p. 
71, n. 2. 

The Latin passage containing a 
reference to the Gospel which is 

Eublished as a fragment of * Papias ' 
y Grabe and Routh (fr. xi.) is 
taken from the 'Dictionaiy' of a 
mediaeval Papias quoted by Grabe 
upon the passage, and not from the 
present Papias. The ' Dictionary ' 
exists in MS. both at Oxford and 
Cambridge. I am indebted to the 
kindness of a friend for this explana- 
tion of what seemed to be a strange 

2 Euseb. H. E. iti. 39 : k^xPV'^"-'- 
fiapTvpiaii a-Trb r?js 'Icoduvov irpoT^pas 
€TnaTo\T]S, Kal rijs H^rpov ofioiuis. The 
language of Eusebius is remarkable : 
ij 'Icodpvov TT pore pa, and 17 IHrpov 
— not i} 'Iwdvvov irpdjTTj and rj Uirpov 
irporipa, as in H. E. V. 8. Can he 
be quoting the titles which Papias 
gave to them ? In the fragment on 
the Canon (see below, § 12) huo 
Epistles only of St John are men- 
tioned; and the very remarkable 
Latin MS. of the Epistles B. M. 
Harl. x'l^j'Z, has in the first hand 
Petri Epistola, as the heading of the 
First Epistle, and no heading to the 
Second Epistle; but the capricious- 
ness of the scribe in this respect 
makes the significance of the omis- 
sion uncertain. 

^ irepX Tov 6eoirv€{>(TTOv ttjs ^i^Xov 
6 iv dylois BacriXetos Kal,.. Kal Uairias 
Kal..,€X^yyvoi, TTta-Tibaaadai. Andreas, 

Chap. ii. 

testimony to 
St John's 
I John. 
I Peter. 




Chap. ii. 

But he 
makes no 
mention of 
the writings 
oySt Paul 
or St Luke. 

The distinc- 
tion between 
tJte Jewish 
and Gentile 
in the 

There is however one great chasm in his testimony. 
Though he was the friend of Polycarp, there is no direct 
evidence that he used any of the Pauhne writings. It 
may be an accident that he omits all these — the Epistles 
of St Paul, the Gospel of St Luke, and the Acts of the 
Apostles^ — and these alone of the acknowledged books 
of the New Testament. But the cause of the omission 
must perhaps be sought for deeper than this ; and if the 
explanation offered be true, it will then be seen that the 
limited range of his evidence gives it an additional reality^ 

As we gain a clearer and fuller view of the Apostolic 
age it becomes evident that the fusion between the Gen- 
tile and Judaizing Christians was far less perfect than 
we are at first inclined to suppose. Both classes indeed 
were essentially united by sharing in a common spiritual 
life, but the outward barriers which separated them had 
not yet been removed. The elder Apostles gave to Bar- 
nabas and Paul the right hand of fellowship, but at the 
same time they defined the limits of their teaching^ 
This division of missionary labour was no compromise, 
but a gracious accommodation to the needs of the time. 
As Christianity was apprehended more thoroughly the 

Proleg. in Apoc. (fr. viii. Routh). 
A quotation from Papias occurs in 
Cramer's Catena in Apoc. xii. 9 
(VIII. p. 360). rovTO Kal Tcariptav 
TrapddocTLS Kal UaTriov 5taS6xou rod 
^vayyeKicTTov 'ludvvov, ov /cat 77 irpo- 
KeifiivT] drroKaXvipLS, 5i.aj3e^aLoi. 

^ In his account of the fate of Ju- 
das Iscariot (Fragm. iii.) there is a 
remarkable divergence from the nar- 
rative in Matt, xxvii. 5 and Acts i. 18. 
But there is no sufficient reason to 
suppose that he confounded PhiHp 
the Deacon with the Apostle of the 
same name. Bp Lightfoot notices 
some slight indications of Papias' use 
of the writings of St Luke (/. c. p. 
415), but I do not think that much 

stress can be laid on them. Indeed 
the textual phenomena of the Gospel 
of St Luke and the Acts, which point 
to two distinct and early recensions, 
are best explained by the supposition 
that these writings had a limited cir- 
culation at first about two distinct 
centres, as, for example, Antioch 
and Alexandria. 

2 I feel now less certain than 
before as to the neglect of the Paul- 
ine writings by Papias. The absence 
of reference to the Epistles of St 
Paul can be easily explained other- 
wise. Comp. Lightfoot, Colossians^ 

51 ff. [1874]. 

3 Gal. ii. 7—9. 




causes which necessitated the distinction lost their force ; 
but the change was neither sudden nor abrupt. It 
would have been contrary to reason and analogy if dif- 
ferences recognised by the Apostles and based on na- 
tional characteristics had either wholly disappeared at 
their death or had been at once magnified into schisms. 
If this were implied in the few but precious memorials of 
the first age, then it might well be suspected that they 
gave an unfaithful picture of the time ; but on the con- 
trary, just in proportion as we can trace in them each 
separate principle which existed from the first must it be 
felt that there is a truth and reality in the progress of 
the Church by which all the conditions of its develop- 
ment suggested by reason or experience are satisfied. 

It is in this way that the partial testimony of Pa- 
pias furnishes a characteristic link in the history of 
Christianity. As far as can be conjectured from the 
scanty notices of his life, he was probably of Jewish de- 
scent, and constitutionally inclined to Judaizing views\ 
In such a man any positive reference to the teaching 
of St Paul was not to be expected. He could not 
condemn him, for he had been welcomed by the other 
Apostles as their fellow-labourer, and Polycarp had early 
rejoiced to recognise his claims : he could not feel bound 
to witness to, his authority, for his sympathies were with 
' the circumcision,' to whom St Paul was not sent I He 
stands as the repre3entative of *the Twelve,' and wit- 
nesses to every book which the next generation com- 

1 Euseb. H. E. Iii. 36: av^p rh. 
•rrdvTa on fxaXiara XoyidjTaros [in all 
respects of the greatest erudition) koX 
T7)s ypa(f)TJs eidrifjLO}!/. This dis- 
puted clause is quite consistent with 
what Eusebius says elsewhere (in. 39) : 
a<l)68pa ydp tol (Tfj.iKpbs wv rbv vovv^ 
ws dv iK Twv aiTOv \6yuv TCKp-ypdixe- 

vov eiireiv, [6 IlaTrias] (palveraL. The 
recent addition, however, of a very- 
ancient Syriac version to the author- 
ities which omit the clause, turns the 
balance of evidence against its genu- 
ineness. Lightfoot, /. c. 408 n. 
2 Gal. ii. 9. 

Chap. ii. 

to be looked 
for also in 
the next. 

Papias was 
the represen- 
tative of the 

The value 
of his evi- 
dence on this 




Chap. ii. 

The evidence 
of the second- 
after the 
Apostles not 
conJi7ied to 

His testi- 
jnony is 

monly received in their name. His testimony is partial ; 
but its very imperfection is not only capable of an exact 
explanation, but is also in itself a proof that the Chris- 
tianity of the second age was a faithful reflexion of the 
teaching of the Apostles\ In his case even partiality 
did not degenerate into exclusiveness. The force of 
this distinction will be obvious from a memorable con- 
trast. For the converse of the judgment of Papias was 
already formed by his contemporary Marcion, but with 
this difference, that while Papias passed in silence over 
the Pauline writings Marcion definitely excluded all 
except these from his Christian Canon^ 

§ 2. The Elders quoted by Irenceiis. 

Papias is not however the only representative of 
those who had been taught by the immediate disciples 
of the Apostles. Irenaeus has preserved some anony- 
mous fragments of the teaching of others who occupied 
the same position as the Bishop of Hierapolis ; and the 
few sentences thus quoted contain numerous testimonies 
to books of the New Testament, and fill up that which 
is left wanting by his evidenced Thus ' the elders, disci- 

1 In speaking of Papias as the 
first Chronicler of the Church, it 
would perhaps have been right to 
except the authors of the *Martyr- 
' dom of Ignatius.' The substance at 
least of the narrative seems an au- 
thentic memorial of the time. The 
mention of ' the Apostle Paul ' (c. ii. ) 
by Ignatius admirably accords with 
his character; and the whole scene 
before Trajan could scarcely have 
been invented at a later time. The 
history contains coincidences of lan- 
guage with the Epistles of St Paul to 
the Romans (c. iii.), i and 2 Corin- 
thians (c. ii.), Galatians (c. ii.), and 
I Timothy (c. iv.). At the close of the 

first chapter there is also a remarkable 
similarity of metaphor with 2 Pet. 
i. 19. But the parallelism between 
many parts of the narrative with the 
Acts is still more worthy of notice, 
because, from the nature of the case, 
references to that book are compa- 
ratively rare in early writings. See 
especially chapp. iv., v. 

2 See chap. iv. 

^ They have been collected by 
Routh, ReliqiiicB Sacra^ i- 47 sqq. 
Eusebius notices the quotations, but 
did not know their source {H. E. v. 
8). It is clear that Irennsus appeals 
to several authorities ; and it appears 
also that he quoted traditions as well 




'pies of the Apostles,' as he tells us, speak of ' Paradise, 
*to which the Apostle Paul was carried, and there heard 
'words unutterable to us in our present state' (2 Cor. 
xii. 4)\ In another place he records the substance of 
that which he had heard ' from an Elder who had heard 
' those who had seen the Apostles and had learnt from 
' them,' to the effect that ' the correction drawn from the 
' Scriptures was sufficient for the ancients in those mat- 
' ters which they did without the counsel of the Spirit.' 
In the course of the argument, after instances from the 
Old Testament, the Elder alludes to ' the Queen of the 
'South' (Matt. xii. 42), the Parable of the Talents 
(Matt. XXV. 27), the fate of the traitor (Matt. xxvi. 24), 
the judgment of unbelievers (Matt. x. 15); and also 
makes use of the Epistles to the Romans (as St Paul's), 
to the Corinthians (the First by name), and to the 
Ephesians, and probably to the Plrst Epistle of St 
Peter'^ In another place an Elder appears to allude to 
the Gospels of St Matthew and St John I 

Thus each great division of the New Testament is 
again found to be recognised in the simultaneous teach- 

as writings : e.g. IV. 27 (45), Audivi 
a quodam Presbytero, 6t=c. iv. 31 (49), 
Talia qusedam enarrans de antiquis 
Presbyter reficiebat nos et dicebat, 
(2r=f. The other, forms of quotation 
are : virh tov Kpeirrovos rjixQiv etprjTai 
(i. Pref. 2) — 6 Kpeiaatav (sic) tjixCjv 
k(f>ri (i. 13. 3) — quidam dixit superior 
nobis (ill. 17. 4)' — ex veteribus qui- 
dam ait (ill. 23. 3) — senior Aposto- 
lorum discipukis disputabat (iv. 32. 
i) — \4yovaLU oi Trpea^&repoi tuv'Atto- 
(TToXojp / (v. 5. i) — ^(prj rts tQv 
Trpo^e^riKdrm' (v. 17. 4) — quidam 
ante nos dixit (iv. 41. 2) — 6 deios 
irpea-^vTTjs Kol K-fjpv^ tt]S dXTJOelas... 
iTn^€^6r]K€...dir(bv (l. 15. 6). The 
last precedes some Iambic lines 
against Marcus : cf. Grabe, in loc. 

1 Iren. v. 5. i ; Fr. vii. (Routh). 

2 Iren. iv. 27 (45); Fr. v. (Routh). 
The obhque construction of the whole 
paragraph proves that Irenaeus is 
giving accurately at least the general 
tenor of the Elder's statement; and 
the quotations form a necessary part 
of it, and cannot have been added 
for illustration. E. g. Non debemus 
ergo, inquit ille Senior, superbi esse 
...sed ipsi ideo Paulum 
dixisse : Si enim naturalibus ramis, 
&c. (Rom. xi. 20, 21). 

3 Iren. IV. 31 (49) ; Fr. vi. (Routh). 
The reference to St Matthew (xi. 19) 
is remarkable from being introduced 
by * Inquit;' that to St John (viii. 56) 
is more uncertain. See also p. 71, 
n. 2. 

Chap. ii. 

by that of 

Thus this 
also ivit- 



Chap. ii. 

nesses to 
each great 
division of 
the New 

The change 
in our point 

The early 


said to have 




A. D. 98 — 

ing of the Church. We have already traced in the dis- 
ciples of the Apostles the existence of the characteristic 
peculiarities by which they were themselves marked ; 
and we can now see that their writings still remained in 
the next generation to witness at once to the different 
forms and essential harmony of their teaching. Poly- 
carp, who united by his life two great ages of the Church, 
reconciles in his own person the followers of St James 
and St Paul : he was the friend of Papias as well as the 
teacher of Irenseus*. 

§ 3. T/ie Evangelists in the reign of Trajan. 

Hitherto Christianity has been viewed in its inward 
construction : now it will be regarded in its outward 
conflicts. It is no longer *a work for silence, but for 
' might/ Truth was not only to be strengthened, conso- 
lidated, developed to its full proportions : it was charged 
to conquer the world. The preparation for the accom- 
plishment of this charge was the work of the Apologists. 

Before we consider their writings it is very worthy of 
notice that Eusebius introduces the mention of New 
Testament Scriptures into the striking description which 
he gives of the zeal of the first Christian missionaries. 
'They discharged the work of Evangelists,' he says, 
speaking of the time of Trajan, 'zealously striving to 
'preach Christ to those who were still wholly ignorant 
' of Christianity (o t^9 Trto-rew? X0709), and to deliver to 
' them the Scripture of the divine Gospels ' {T-qv rcov 
Oelcov evayyeXicov irapahihovau ypacjyrjv^). The statement 
may not be in itself convincing as an argument ; but it 

^ Compare Lightfoot, /. c. pp. 409 f. 
2 Euseb. H E. iii. 37. 




falls in with other traditions which affirm that the preach- 
ing of Christianity was even in the earliest times accom- 
panied by the circulation of written Gospels ; for these 
were at once the sum of the Apostolic message — the 
oral Gospel — and its representative \ Thus in the other 
glimpse which Eusebius gives of the labours of Evan- 
gelists — ' men inspired with godly zeal to copy the pat- 
' tern of the Apostles ' — the written word again appears. 
Pantaenus towards the end of the second century pene- 
trated ' even to the Indians ; and there it is said that 
'he found that the Gospel according to Matthew had 
^anticipated his arrival among some there who were 
'acquainted with. Christ, to whom Bartholomew, one of 
' the Apostles, had preached, and given on his departure 
' (KaraXelyfraL) the writing of Matthew in Hebrew let- 
'tersV... The whole picture may not be original; but 
the several parts harmonize exactly together, and the 
general effect is that of reality and truth. 

§ 4. T/ie A thcnian Apologists. 

At the very time when the first Evangelists were 
extending the knowledge of Christianity, the earliest 
Apologists were busy in confirming its authority^ While 
Asia and Rome had each their proper task to do in the 
building of the Church, it was reserved for the country- 
men of Socrates to undertake in the first instance the 

1 Euseb. H. E. in. 24 : Mar^atos 
../'E^paiois Kr)pv^as...T6 \e1irov ry 
airov irapovcrig. tovtols d0' w;/ ecrr^X- 
Xero dia ttjs ypa(f)7]S aireirX-qpov. The 
traditions of the origin of the Gospels 
of St Mark and St Luke point to 
the same fact. See Introduction to 
the Study of the Gospels , pp. 167 ff. 

2 Euseb. H. E, v. 10. Cf. Heini- 

chen, in loc. and Add. Pantaenus 
was at the head of the Catechetical 
School of Alexandria in the time of 
Commodus (Euseb. H. E. V. 9, 10) ; 
and his journey to India probably 
preceded his appointment to that 

3 Euseb. H E, Hi. 37. 

G 2 

Chap. ii. 

Thus Pan- 
teenus found 
the Gospel o/ 
St Matthem 
atnong sotng 
C. A.D. 180, 

The place 
and occasion 
of the first 



Chap. ii. 

AD. 123- 

The charac' 
ter of the 
Apology of 

formal defence of its claims before the rulers of the 
world. The occasion of this new work arose out of the 
celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries — those immemo- 
rial rites which seem to have contained all that was 
deepest and truest in the old religion. During his first 
stay at Athens, Hadrian suffered himself to be initiated ; 
and probably because the Emperor was thus pledged to 
the support of the national faith, the enemies of the 
Christians set on foot a persecution against them. On 
this, or perhaps rather on his second visit to the city, 
Quadratus, 'a disciple of the Apostles V offered to him 
his Apology, which is said to have procured the well- 
known rescript to Minucius in favour of the Christians ^ 
This Apology of Quadratus was generally current in 
the time of Eusebius, who himself possessed a copy of 
it ; * and one may see in it,' he says, ' clear proofs both 
' of the intellect of the man and of his apostolic ortho- 
'doxy^' The single passage which he has preserved 
shews that Quadratus insisted rightly on the historic 
worth of Christianity. ' The works of our Saviour,' he 
argues, * were ever present ; for they were real : being 
' the men who were healed : the men who were raised 

1 Hieron. de Virr. III. 19. It is 
disputed whether the Apologist was 
identical with the Bishop of the same 
name, who is said to have 'brought 
' the Christians of Athens again to- 
'gether who had been scattered by 
' persecution, and to have rekindled 
' their faith ' (Euseb. H. E. iv. 23). 
The narrative of Eusebius leaves the 
matter in uncertainty, but they were 
probably different. (Cf. H. E. iii. 
37; IV. 3, with IV. 23.) Jerome 
identifies them (/. c. ; Ep. ad Magn. 
LXX. § 4), and Cave supports his 
view {Hist. Litt. I. an. 123). Cf. 
Routh, Rel. SacrcE^ i. 72 sq. 

2 Cf. Routh, /. c. The details of the 
history are very obscure. If Jerome 

{Ep. ad Magn. I. c.) speaks with strict 
accuracy when he says ' Quadratus 
...Adriano principi EleusincE sacra 
invisenti librum pro nostra religione 
tradidit,' the Apology must be placed 
at the time of Hadrian's first visit; 
otherwise it seems more likely that it 
should be referred to the second. 
Pearson (ap. Routh, p. 78) fixes the 
date on the authority of Eusebius (?) 
at 127. The rescript to Minucius is 
found in Just. Ap. I. Ixviii. ad f, 
Euseb. H. E. iv. 9. 

3 H. E. IV. 3 : ef ol [a-vyypdfi/xa- 
Tos] Kartdeiv icrrl \afnrpa reKfi-qpia 
rrjs re rod dvdpds SiafoLas Kal Trjs 
OTroaroXiKrjs opdoToidas. 



'from the dead : who were not only seen at the moment 
'when the miracles were wrought, but also [were seen 

* continually like other men] being ever present ; and 

* that not only while the Saviour sojourned on earth, but 
'also after His departure for a considerable time, so that 
'some of them survived even to our times V 

A second 'Apology for the Faith,' — 'a rationale of 

* Christian doctrine ' — was addressed to Hadrian by Aris- 
tides, 'a man of the greatest eloquence,' who likewise 
was an Athenian, and probably wrote on the same occa- 
sion as Quadratus^ Eusebius and Jerome speak of the 
book as still current in their time, but they do not ap- 
pear to have read it. Jerome however adds that ' in the 
' opinion of scholars it was a proof of the writer's ability;' 
and this falls in with what he elsewhere says of its cha- 
racter, that it was constructed out of philosophic ele- 
ments ^ Aristides in fact, like Justin, was a philosopher; 
and did not lay aside his former dress when he became 
a Christian\ 

^ The original cannot be quoted 
too often : ToO bh SwriJ/jos T]\x.Civ rd. 
^pya dd iraprjV dXrjdrj yap rjv' ol 
depairevdivTss' ol dvaa-TdvTes iK ve- 
KpGiV ot ovK uxpOrjaav fibvov deparrev- 
bfievoi Kal dvLa-Tdfxevot, ctXXoi Kal del 
irdpovrer ov8' eTn.8T]/xovvTos p.bvov tov 
Swr^pos, dWd Kal diraWay^vTos ^- 
ffav €Trl xpoj/oj/ iKavov, wcrre Kal eh 
Toiis rjixer^pov^ XPoi'ous rivki avrCbu 
d(f)lKovTo {Euseb. I/. E. iv. 3). The 
repetition of ^wr^p absolutely is 
remarkable; in the New Testament 
and in the Apostolic Fathers it oc- 
curs only as a title. The usage of 
Quadratus clearly belongs to a later 
date. It appears again in the Letter 
to Diognetus (c. ix.), and very fre- 
quently in the fragment on the Re- 
surrection appended to Justin's works 
(cc. ii., iv., v., dr'C.). 

2 Hieron. de Virr. III. 19: Volu- 
men nostri dogmatis rationem conti- 

nens. Fragm. MartyroL, ap. Routh, 
p. 76 : Aristides philosophus, vir elo- 
quentissimus If there were suffi- 
cient reason for the supposition that 
Quadratus himself suffered martyr- 
dom in the time of Hadrian, the 
Apology of Aristides might be sup- 
posed to have been called forth at 
that time. The fragment published 
in an Armenian translation (1878) 
may be substantially genuine, but it 
contains no quotations from the N.T. 
The sermon on the penitent robber 
published with it is of much later 

3 Hieron. /. c: Apud philologos 
ingenii ejus indicium est. Ep. ad 
Magn. LXX. § 4 : Apologeticum pro 
Christianis obtulit contextum philo- 
sophorum sententiis, quem imitatus 
postea Justinus, et ipse philosophus. 

^ Hieron. /. c. Domer (i. 180) says 
the same of Quadratus, but I cannot 

Chap. ii. 

The Apology 
of A ristides. 



Chap. ii. 

Both witness 
to the Catho- 
lic doctrine. 


Not written 
by Justin, 

Nothing, it will be seen, can be drawn directly from 
these scanty notices in support of the Canon ; but the 
position of the men gives importance even to the most 
general views of their doctrine. They represent the 
teaching of Gentile^ Christendom in their generation, 
and witness to its soundness. Quadratus is said to have 
been eminently conspicuous for the gift of prophecy'^; 
and yet he appealed with marked emphasis, not to any 
subjective evidence, but to the reality of Christ's works. 
Aristides investigated Christianity in the spirit of a phi- 
losopher ; and yet he was as conspicuous for faith as for 
wisdom ^ Their works were not only able, but in the 
opinion of competent judges they were orthodox. 

§ 5. The Letter to Diognetus. 

In addition to the meagre fragments just reviewed, 
one short work — the so-called Letter to Diognetus — has 
been preserved entire, or nearly so, to witness to the 
character of the earliest apologetic literature'^. It differs 
however from the Apologies in this, that it was written 
in the first instance to satisfy an inquirer, not to con- 
ciliate an enemy. It is anonymous, resembling in form 
a speech much more than a letter, and there are no ade- 
quate means of determining its authorship. For a long 
time it was attributed to Justin Martyr ; but it is 
equally alien in thought and style from his acknow- 

tell on what authority. Probably the very remarkable testimony to the 

names were interchanged. character of his teaching is fouiid in 

1 Yet Grabe's conjecture that the the Martyrolog. Rom. (ap. Routh, 
rule attributed to Quadratus in a p. 80) : Quod Christus Jesus solus 
Martyrology, ut nulla esca a Chris- esset Deus prsesente ipso Imperatore 
tianis repudiaretur quae rationalis et luculentissime peroravit. 

humana est, was assigned to him by ^ Like the Epistles of Clement it 

error, seems very plausible. Cf. is at present found only in one an- 

Routh, I. p. 79. cient MS. Cf. Otto, Jicst. Mart, ii., 

2 Euseb. H. E. in. 37; v. 17. Proleg. xiv. xx. sqq. Stephens may 
^ Hieron. ad Mngn. I. c. : Fide vir have had access to another. [The 

sapientiaque admirabilis. Another Strasburg MS. was burnt in the war.] 




ledged writings ; and the mainstay of such a hypothesis 
seems to be the pardonable desire not to leave a gem so 
precious without an owner\ Other names have been 
suggested ; but in the absence of external evidence they 
serve only to express the character of the Essay. It is 
eloquent, but that is no sure sign that it was written by 
Apollos. It is opposed to Judaism, but that is no proof 
that it proceeded from Marcionl It may be the work 
of Quadratus^ or Aristides ; but it is enough that we 
can regard it as the natural outpouring of a Greek heart 
holding converse with a Greek mind in the language of 
old philosophers*. 

^ The evidence on which we con- 
clude that it cannot be Justin's is 
briefly this : (i) It is contained in no 
catalogue of his writings. (2) Jus- 
tin's style is cumbrous, involved, and 
careless ; while that of the Letter to 
Diognetus is simple, vigorous, and 
classical. (3) Justin regards idola- 
try, Judaism, even Christianity itself, 
from a different point of view. Idols, 
according to him, were really te- 
nanted by spiritual powers {Apol. i. 
xii.), and were not mere stocks or 
stones {ad Diogn. ii. ) : the Mosaic 
Law was a fitting preparation for 
the Gospel {Dial. c. Tr. xliii.), and 
not an arbitrary system {ad Diogn, 
iv. ) : Christianity was the completion 
of that which was begun in men's 
hearts by the seminal word {Ap, ii. 
xiii.), so that they were not even in 
appearance left uncared for by God 
before Christ came {ad Diogn. viii.). 
The second ground is in itself deci- 
sive ; the doctrinal differences can be 
more or less smoothed down by the 
comparison of other passages of Justin : 
e.g. Ap. I. ix. ; Dial. c. Tr. xlvi. ad 

^ Lumper (ap. Mohler, 165) and 
Gallandi (ap. Hefele, Ixxix.) suggest 
Apollos. Bunsen in his Analeda 
Ante-Niaznay i. 103 fif. publishes the 

first part as 'the lost early letter of 
Marcion,' but brings forward no sa- 
tisfactory arguments in support of his 

^ Cf. Dorner, i. 178 anm. 

^ Doubts have been raised, wholly 
groundless, as I believe, to the au- 
thenticity of the first fragment or of 
the two fragments which form the 
letter. Dr Donaldson, after enu- 
merating several difficulties and cu- 
rious facts, says : * [ These\ . . . led me 

* to suspect that the epistle to Diog- 
*netus might possibly be the pro- 
duction of H. Stephanus himself... 
*[^?^/] should be cautious in 
'attributing a forgery to any one. 
' I am inclined to think it more 
'likely that some... Greeks... may have 
'written the treatise... Btil there is 

* no sound basis for any theory with 
' regard to this remarkable production.^ 
{Hist, of Christian Liter, ii. p. 142.) 
This guarded statement becomes in 
the hands of a controversialist the 
following : ' Donaldson considers it 
'either a forgery by H. Stephanus, 
'the first editor, or by Greeks who 

* came over to Italy when Constanti- 
' nople was threatened by the Turks. ' 
{Supernal. Rel. ii. 39, n. 3.) I can- 
not think that Mr Cotterill's argu- 
ments alter the state of the case. 

Chap. ii. 




The question of the authorship of the Letter being 
thus left in uncertainty, that of its integrity still re- 
mains. As it stands at present it consists of two parts 
(cc. i. — X. ; xi., xii.) connected by no close coherence ; 
and at the end of the first the manuscript marks the 
occurrence of a ' chasm \' The separation thus pointed 
out is fully established by internal evidence. The first 
part — the true Letter to Diognetus — is everywhere 
marked by the characteristics of Greece ; the second by 
those of Alexandria. The one, so to speak, sets forth 
truth ' rationally,' and the other ' mystically.' The 
centre of the one is faith : of the other knowledge. 
The different manner in which they treat the ancient 
Covenant illustrates their mutual relation. The Mosaic 
institutions — sabbaths and circumcision and fasts — are 
at once set aside in the Letter to Diognetus as pal- 
pably ridiculous and worthless. In the concluding frag- 
ment, on the contrary, * the fear of the law and the 
' grace of the prophets ' are united with ' the faith of the 
' Gospels and the tradition of the Apostles ' as contri- 
buting to the wealth of the Church ^ 

Indications of the date of the writings are not wholly 
wanting. The address to Diognetus was composed after 
the faith of Christians had been tried by wide-spread 

^ Cf. Otto, ii.p.2oi, n. The words 
are : koX w5e iyKOTrrjv elxe rd avri- 

^ It is always impossible to convey 
by words any notion of the varia- 
tions in tone and language and man- 
ner which are instinctively felt in 
comparing two cognate but separate 
books ; and yet the distinction be- 
tween the two parts of the ' Letter 
to Diognetus' seems to me to be 
shewn clearly by these subtle, but 
most real differences. In addition 
to this the argument is completed at 
the end of c. x. according to the 

plan laid down in c. i. ; and the close 
of c. xi. seems to imply a different 
motive for writing. On the other 
hand it is quite wrong to insist on 
the fact that 'the second fragment 
addresses not one but many,' for the 
singular is used as often as the plural 
(c. xi. : Tjv X'^P'-^ f^V ^virwy eTriyvwar]. 
c. xii. : TjTU) (xol Kapdla yvcocris). 

There may have been a formal 
conclusion after c. x., but even now 
the termination is not more abrupt 
than that to Justin's first Apology, 
and it expresses the same motive — a 
regard to future judgment ^c. x. aa^ 




persecution, which had not even at that time passed 
over* ; and on the other hand a Hvely faith in Christ's 
speedy Presence {irapovaia) still lingered in the Church^ 
The first condition can hardly be satisfied before the 
reign of Trajan ; and the second forbids us to bring 
the letter down to a much later time. In full accord- 
ance with this, Christianity is spoken of as something 
'recent;' Christians are a 'new class;' the Saviour has 
been only * now ' set forth ^ 

The concluding fragment is more recent, but still, I 
believe, not later than the first half of the second century. 
The greater maturity of style and the definite reference 
to St Paul can be explained by the well-known activity of 
religious thought and the early advancement of Christian 
literature at Alexandria^ And everything else in the 
writing betokens an early date. The author speaks of 
himself as ' a disciple of Apostles and a teacher of Gen- 
tilesV The Church, as he describes it, was still in its 

fin.)\ Just. Ap. I. Ixviii. In c. vii. 
there is a lacuna. Cf. next note. 

^ c. vii. : \pvx opq.%] irapa^aWoixi- 
vovs dijpiois... It is impossible to 
read the M'ords without thinking of 
the martyrdom of Ignatius, which 
indeed may have suggested them. 

Just before irapa^aWoju^vovs there 
is a lacuna : ovx 6pg.s is introduced 
from the next sentence. The MS. 
has the note : ovtcjs kuI iv rip olvtl- 
ypdtpip evpov iyKOirrju iraXaiOTdTov 
ovTOi (Otto, II. p. 184, n.). It is quite 
unnecessary to alter the last words 
as Otto wishes. Cf. Jelf, Gr. Gr. 

'^ c. vii. : TOMTO. ttjs -rrapova-las av- 
Tov Seiyfiara. The word, which is 
almost universally spread through 
the writings of the N. T., does not 
occur in this sense in the Apostolic 
Fathers. Justin speaks of the second 
irapovcria without alluding to its ap- 
proach : Dia/. c. Tr. cc. xxxi., xxxii. 

^ cc. i., ii., ix. This argument is 
of weight when connected with the 
others, though not so independently. 
Our view of the date of the Letter is 
not inconsistent with the belief that 
it was addressed to Diognetus the 
tutor of Marcus Aurelius. That 
prince openly adopted the dress and 
doctrines of the Stoics when twelve 
years old (133 A. D.) ; and if we place 
the Epistle at the close of the reign 
of Trajan (c. 117 A. D.) there is no 
difficulty in reconciling the dates. 

^ c. cxii. : h diroaToXo^. The an- 
tagonism between the Serpent {-qSovr]) 
and Eve {aiaOrjais) was commented 
on by Philo, Ze^. Alleg. II. §§ 18 sqq. 
l^r}v 6(f>io/iidxov ovv yvd}/jL7]v avriraTTe 
Kal KdWicrrov dyQva tovtov didffXr)- 
(Tov...KaTd r^s roys aXXoi's airavra^ 
viKU}aT]s i^dov7Js...{% 26). Cf. Just. M. 
Dial. ch. c, and Otto in loc. 

s c. xi. init. 



first staged The sense of personal intercourse with the 
Word was fresh and deep. Revelation was not then 
wholly a thing of the Past^ 

In one respect the two parts of the book are united, 
inasmuch as they both exhibit a combination of the 
teaching of St Paul and St John. The love of God, it 
is said in the Letter to Diognetus, is the source of love 
in the Christian ; who must needs ' love God who thus 
' first loved him' {irpoa<ya'n-r)cravTa)^ and find an expression 
for this love by loving his neighbour, whereby he will 
be ' an imitator of God.' ' For God loved men, for 

* whose sakes He made the world, to whom He sub- 
'jected all things that are in the earth,. ..unto whom 
' (7r/9o?) He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom He 

* promised the kingdom in heaven {rrjv ev ovpavw ^aai- 
'\elav), and will give it to those who love Him :' God's 
will is mercy ; ' He sent His Son as wishing to save 
' (g)9 cra)J'(wz/)...and not to condemn;' and as witnesses of 
this * Christians dwell in the world, though they are not 
'of the world'.' So in the Conclusion we read that 'the 
'Word Who was from the beginning,... at His appear- 
' ance, speaking boldly^ manifested the mysteries of the 

^ c. xii. ad fin. ...cruTrjpioi' SeiKPV- 
rat Kcu dirojToXoi avveTl^ovTai, Kai rb 
Kvpiov TTCto-xa irpoipx'£Tai, Kai KKijpoi 
(TwdyouraL, Kai ixerb, Koafiov ap/x6^e- 
Tai, Kai dLddcKUv ayiovs 6 Aoyos ei- 
(ppaiucTai, di ov Harrjp do^d^erat. I 
have adopted the admirable emenda- 
tion KXrjpoi (i Pet. V. 3) for Krjpoi, 
printed by Bunsen {Hipp. 1. p. 192), 
though in p. 188 he seems to read 
tcaLpoi. It does not appear on what 
authority Otto says Designantur cerei 
quibus Christiani potissimum tem- 
pore paschali utebantur ; if it were 
so, K-qpoi avvdyovrai would still be a 
marvellous expression. Cf. Bing- 
ham, Orig. Eccles. II. 461 sq. The 

phrase irapdooais dtroffToXwv <pv\d(T- 
a-erai (c. xi.) is of no weight on the 
other side. Cf. 2 Thess. ii. 15; iii. 
6; I Cor. xi. 2. 

^ The phrase already quoted (last 
note) ' the Lord's passover advances,' 
seems to point to the early Paschal 
controversy. If a special date must 
be fixed, I should be inclined to sug- 
gest some time between 140 — 150. 

^ c. X., vii., vi. Cf. I John iv. 19, 
11; Eph. v. i; John iii. 17; [James 
i. 12;] John xvii. 11, 16. I cannot 
call to mind a parallel to the phrase 
7) kv ovpavC^ ^aaCKda^ which is very 
different from * the kingdom ' or * the 
kingdom of heaven.' 




* Father to those who were judged faithful by Him\' 
And those again to whom the Word speaks ' from love 
'of that which is revealed to them' share their know- 
ledge with others. And this is the true knowledge 
which is inseparable from life ; and not that false know- 
ledge of which the Apostle says, knowledge puffeth tip, 
but love edifietk^. 

The presence of the teaching of St John is here 
placed beyond all doubt^ There are however no direct 
refefences to the Gospels throughout the Letter, nor 
indeed any allusions to our Lord's discourses ; and with 
regard to the Synoptic Evangelists, it is more difficult 
to trace the marks of their use. From time to time 
the writer to Diognetus appears to shew familiarity with 
their language ; but this is all^ 

The influence of the other parts of the New Testa- 
ment on the Letter is clearer. In the first part the 
presence of St Paul is even more discernible than that 
of St John. In addition to Pauline words and phrases^, 

Chap. ii. 

How far the 
Gospels are 
in the Letter 
to Diogne' 

Other refer- 
ences to the 
New Testa- 
ment in the 
Letter to 
Diognetus ; 

^ c. xi. 01) X'^pf air^aTeiKe A6you tva 
Koa-zxip <f)av7]' os virb \aov drifiaadels, 
Slot dTroardXcov Krjpvxd^is, virb idvQiv 
€Tri<TT€6d7]. ovrbi 6 dv' dpxv^, b Kaivbs 

(paveb And a little before oTs 

i<pavipiac€V 6 A670S (paveis, vapprjcria 
\aKC}v...ol iricTTol Xoyiadh-Tes vir avroO 
iyvuaav warpbs fivarifjpia. The exact 
phrase Trappyjaia XaXcTv is peculiar to 
St John among the writers of the 
New Testament with the exception 
of Mark viii. 32. 

2 cc. xi., xii. Cf. John i. i, 18; 
I Cor. viii. i. 'E0 d7d7r77S rdv diro- 
Ka\v<f)divT(jiv is a very note-worthy 

^ I am unable to modify this con- 
clusion after considering what has 
been urged against it {Supernat. 
Rel. II. pp. 357 — 370). Indeed I can 
only wonder that a writer who states 
that 'the Epistles of Paul chiefly 

* [including apparently Colossians 
' and Titus], together with the other 
'canonical Epistles [including He- 
' brews, James], are the sources of the 
'writer's inspiration' (p. 359), should 
think it worth while to dispute ' the 
' presence of St John's teaching, ' or, 
as has been said in a former page, 

* a combination of the teaching of St 
' Paul and St John ' in this letter. 

^ Compare Matt. vi. 25 — 31; xix. 
17, with cc. ix., viii. ; and also Matt. 
V. 44; xix. a6, with cc. vi., ix. 

^ The following phrases may be 
noticed : dTroS^xoAiat Tivd tivos (Acts) 
— TO d8{ivaTou TTJi 'fjp.eTipai (p^crecos — 
rb TTJs deoae^eiai fjLvaTrjpiov — oUovo- 
filav iriaTeijea-dai — tcxvIttj^ Kal drjfii- 
ovpybi (Ep. to Hebr.) — /xtfi7)T7)s GeoO 
— Kara cdpKa ^rjv — KaLvb$ dvdpwiros. 

Among the Pauline words are : 
Taped pejjGcv (i Cor. ix. 13) — deoai- 



whole sections are constructed with manifest regard to 
passages in the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, 
and Galatians ; and there are other coincidences of 
language more or less evident with the Acts, and with 
the Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, the first 
Epistle to Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus, and with 
the First Epistle of Peter\ In the concluding fragment 
there is, in addition to the references to St John, to the 
Gospels generally, and to the Epistles to the Corinthians 
already mentioned, an apparent reminiscence of a pas- 
sage in the First Epistle to Timothy^ 

The conclusion of the Letter moreover has a further 
importance as marking the presence of a new element in 
the development of Christian philosophy. Knowledge 
{r^vQxTi^ is vindicated from its connexion with heresy, 
and welcomed as the highest expression of revealed 
truth. Believers are God's Paradise, bringing forth 
manifold fruits ; and in them, as in Paradise of old, 
the tree of Knowledge is planted hard by the tree of 
Life ; for it is not knowledge that killeth, but disobe- 
dience. Life cannot exist without knowledge ; nor sure 
knowledge without true Life. Knowledge without the 
witness of Life is only the old deceptioa of the serpent. 
The Christian's heart must be knowledge ; and his Life 
must be true Reason. In other words. Christian wis- 
dom must be the spring of action, and Christian life the 

/Seta — Set<ri5ai/ioj'ia — ')(pp-t]'yuv — cvv- 
TjdeLa — irpoadeofxevos — TrapairoOfiai — 
voKLTevofiai — d<pdap(7ia — €K.\oyq — o- 
fji.o\oyovfj.4vi>3S — vrrdaraaLS (Hebr.). 

The peculiarities in the language 
of the Letter may be judged from 
these examples : vTrepffTovdd^eiv — 
Trpo/car^X^"' — i^o/xotovcdai — iyKara- 
(TTrjpi^eiv — direpLvorjTOS — iravTOKTiffrrjs 
— y^palpHv — \l/o<l>od€^s — jj-vrfffiKaKtiy. 

^ Compare c. ix. with Rom. iii. 
2 1 — 26, and Gal. iv. 4; and c. v. 
with 2 Cor. vi. 9, 10. The following 
references also are worthy of remark : 
c. iii., Acts xvii. 24, 25: c. ii., Eph. 
iv. 21 — 24: c. v., Phil. iii. 18 sqq. : 
c. iv., I Tim. iii. 16: c.ix., Tit. iii. 4, 
and I Pet. iii. 18. 

2 Cf. I Tim. iii. 16 with c, xi. 




realisation of truth \ The groundwork of this teaching 
lies in the relation of the Word to man. The Incarna- 
tion of the Eternal Word is connected intimately with 
His Birth from time to time in the heart of believers^ 
The same Word which manifested the mysteries of the 
Father when He was shewn to the world is declared 
still to converse with whom He will^ The Word is 
still the teacher of the saints *. 

In this doctrine it is possible to trace the germs of 
later mysticism, but each false deduction is excluded by 
the plain recognition of the correlative objective truth. 
The test of knowledge is the presence of Life^ ; and the 
influence of the Word on the Christian [is made to flow 
from His historical revelation to mankind ^ 

§ 6. The Jewish Apologists. 

The conclusion of the Letter to Diognetus offers a 
natural transition to the few relics of Apologetic writings 
derived apparently from Jewish authorship. It bears, 
as has been said, the impress of Alexandria, and 
was probably the work of a Jewish convert ^ Coming 
from such a source it may be taken to shew the Catho- 
lic spirit of one division of Jewish Christendom ; but 
since it may seem that the freedom of thought which 
distinguished Alexandria was unlikely to foster Ju- 

2 c. xi. : Ouros 6 anr dpx^s, o /caiJ'ds 
^a^/eis KoX [TraXaios] evptQw koX irdu- 
Tore p^os ev ayiuv Kapdiats yevvw/xevos. 

^ c. xi. : ...eiriyvuxjrf d A670S ofxi- 
Xet 5t' (Sv ^OTjXerai ore 64Xei. 

^ c. xii.: diddaKiOf dyiovs 6 A6yos 

It is to be remarked that the Word 
appears in both parts of the Letter 
rather as the correlative to . Reason 

in man (^wt/ d^ \6yos ak-qOr}?, c. xii. 
d Qeht...Tr]v aXtjdeiav /cat rbv A6yop 
TOP dyiop Kal dwepiPOTjTOP dpOpdoirois 
evidpv(re...c. vii.), than as the expres- 
sion of the creative Will of God. 
Cf. Dorner, i, p. 411. 

^ "0 yap POfjLL^ujp elbipai tc dpev 
ypo}(Tiu)S dXrjdovs Kal fiaprvpovfM^prjs 
inrb rrjs ^(aijs^odK 'iyp(j)...c. xii. 

^ Et)a77eX/c»;j' iriaTis idpvTaL...c. xi. 

"^ This follows, I think, from the 



daizing views, it becomes a matter of importance to 
inquire whether there be any early records of the Pales- 
tinian Church, their acknowledged source and centre. 
A notice of one such book, — the ' Dialogue between 
'Jason and Papiscus/ has been preserved*. It appears 
to have had a wide popularity, and was translated into 
Latin in the third century^ Celsus, it is true, thought 
that it was fitter for pity than for ridicule ; but Origen 
speaks highly of its dramatic skilP. It is uncer- 
tain whether it has been attributed rightly to Aristo of 
Pella; for that late belief may have arisen from its 
known connexion with the Church to which he be- 
longed ^ The general plan of the writer however is 
exactly characteristic of the position which a teacher 
at Pella may be supposed to have occupied. It was 

manner in which the Book of Gene- 
sis is allegorized. In later writers 
such interpretations became generally 
current. The contrast which the 
fragment offers to the Epistle of Bar- 
nabas is very instructive, as shewing 
the opposite extremes deducible from 
the same principles. 

^ Routh, I. 95 — 109. 

2 This is the date given by Cave. 
Others have placed it as late as the 
end of the fifth century. The trans- 
lation was made by Celsus, and dedi- 
cated to Bishop Vigilius ; but nothing 
can be determined as to their iden- 
tity. The preface to the translation 
is appended to many editions of Cy- 
prian. Cf. Routh, p. 109. 

^ Orig. c. Gels. IV. 52; IlaTr^cr/cov 
rivh'i KoX 'Idaovos dpTiXoyiav ^yvwv 
(in the words of Celsus) ov yiXuiros 
dXka fidWou eXeovs Kal fMicrovs d^iav. 
The book, as Origen allows, was more 
adapted in some parts for the simpler 
sort of men than for the educated: 
8vydfievov fxev ti Trpbs rovs iroXXods Kal 
dTrXov(rTepovs iriareus xdpiv avix^aXi- 

<r6ai, ov /jltju olbv re Kal a-vyeTuripovi 
KLvrjaai (/. c). Afterwards he adds : 
KairoLye ovk dyewds ov8' dirpeirQs ry 
'Iov5a'iK(^ irpoadjirij} rod eripov iara- 
fxiuov irpbs rbv \byov. 

* Origen and Jerome quote the 
Dialogue without mentioning the au- 
thor's name; and it is not given in 
the preface of Celsus. Eusebius 
{H. E. IV. 6) quotes a passage from 
Aristo in reference to the Jewish 
rising under Bar-Cochba, but it seems 
at least doubtful whether this was 
taken from the Dialogue. Maximus 
(7th cent.) is the earliest writer who 
attributes the Dialogue to Aristo, 
adding : riv [StctXe^tJ'] KXrjfxrjs 6 'A\e- 
^avdpeiis ev ^kt<^ ^i^Xiip tCov 'Tttotu- 
TTuaeuv TOP dyiov Aovxav (prjalu dua- 
ypdxpaL. This tradition is probably 
due to the identification of Jason with 
the Jason mentioned in Acts xvii. 5. 

Of the Apology which Aristo is 
said to have offered to Hadrian 
{Chron. Pasc. 477, ap. Routh, p. 104, 
if the reading be correct) nothing is 




his object to represent a Hebrew Christian convincing 
an Alexmtdrine Jew * from the Old Testament Scrip- 
* tures (e/c t&v 'lovBaiKoov ypacpcop), shewing that the Mes- 
/sianic prophecies were apphcable to Jesus V To this 
end he apparently made frequent use of allegorical in- 
terpretations of Scripture ; but it is more important to 
notice that he speaks of Jesus as the Son of God the 
Creator of the Worlds The words, though few, are 
key-words of Christianity, and as the single expression 
of the early doctrine of the Church of Palestine they 
go far to expose the unreality of the hypothesis which 
exhibits it as Ebionitic. They do not prove anything 
as to the existence of a New Testament Canon ; but 
as far as they have any meaning they tend to shew 
that no such divisions had place in the Church as have 
been supposed to render the existence of a Catholic 
Canon impossible^ 

Agrippa Castor introduces a new form of the Apo- 
logy. Hitherto we have noticed in succession defences 
of Christianity addressed to persecutors, philosophers, 
and Jews ; he maintained the truth against heretics. 
Nothing appears to be known of his history. He is 
said to have been a *very learned man,' and was pro- 
bably of Jewish descent*. Eusebius speaks of him as a 

1 Pref. Cels.' ap. Routh, p. 97: 
Orig. /. c. 

2 Orig. /. c. : Cels. Pref. /. c, : 
Hieron. Quasi. Hebr. ii. 507 (ap. 
Routh, p. 95). In the last instance 
he reads in Gen. i. i, In filio fecit 
Deus coelum et terram. Cf. Routh, 

p. ICO. 

3 The Dialogue was in circulation 
in the time of Celsus, and conse- 
quently the date of its composition 
cannot be placed long after the death 
of Hadrian. 

It may be concluded from Origen's 

notice (/. c.) that the doctrine of the 
Resurrection of the body suggested 
some of Celsus' objections, probably 
in connexion with the Second Advent. 
The reference to ' a strange and me- 
morable narrative' contained in one 
of the Christian books probably re- 
fers to the Dialogue (compare c. 53, 
p. 200 init. with c 52 init.). 

^ Vir valde doctus. Hieron. de 
Virr. III. 21. His Jewish descent 
appears to follow from the fact that 
he charged Basilides with teaching 
'indifference in eating meats offered 



Chap. ii. 

shew signs 
of historical 

contemporary of Saturninus and Basilides, and adds that 
he was the most famous among the many writers of the 
' time who defended the doctrine of the Apostles and the 
' Church chiefly on philosophic principles ' (^o^nctaTepovf. 
In particular, he composed * a most satisfactory {Uavoi)- 
' raros:) refutation of Basilides/ in which he noticed his 
commentaries on the Gospel, and exposed the claims 
of certain supposititious {avvirapKroi) prophets, whom 
he had used to support his doctrines. This slight fact 
shews that historical criticism was not wholly wanting 
in the Church when first it was required. It would not, 
as far as we can see, have been an easy matter to secure 
a reception for forgeries claiming to be authoritative, 
even at the beginning of the second century. 

The cotnpa- 
rative ful- 
ness of our 
knowledge of 

§ 7. Justin Martyr. 

The writings and character of Justin Martyr stand 
out in clear relief from the fragments and names which 
we have hitherto reviewed. Instead of interpreting iso- 
lated phrases we can now examine complete and con- 
tinuous works : instead of painfully collecting a few dry 
details from tradition we can contemplate the image 
which a Christian himself has drawn of his own life 
and experience. Justin was of Greek descent, but his 
family had been settled for two generations in the 
Roman colony of Flavia Neapolis, which was founded 
in the time of Vespasian near the site of the ancient 
Sicheml The date of his birth is uncertain, but it was 
probably at the close of the first century. He tells us 
that his countrymen generally were addicted to the 

' to idols' (Euseb. H. E. iv. 7) ; yet see some connexion with Alexandria. 
Just. M. Dial. c. 35. His controversy ^ Euseb. /. c. 
with Basilides probably indicates ^ Af). i. i. 




errors of Simon Magus \ but it appears that he himself 
escaped that delusion, and began his search for truth 
among the teachers of the old philosophic schools. First 
he applied to a Stoic^ ; but after some time he found 
that he learned nothing of God from him, and his master 
affirmed that such knowledge was unnecessary. Next 
he betook himself to a Peripatetic, 'a shrewd man,' he 
adds, ' in his own opinion.' But before many days were 
over, the Philosopher was anxious to settle with his 
pupil the price of his lessons, that their intercourse 
might prove profitable to them both. So Justin thought 
that he was no philosopher at all ; and still yearning 
(t^9 "^v^)^ ert (nrap<y(iO(Tri^) for knowledge he applied to 
a Pythagorean, who enjoyed a great reputation and 
prided himself on his wisdom. But a knowledge of 
Music, Astronomy and Geometry was the necessary 
passport to his lectures ; and since he was not possessed 
of it, Justin, as he seemed near to the fulfilment of his 
hopes, was once again doomed to disappointment. He 
fared better however with a Platonist, his next teacher, 
and in his company he seemed to grow wiser every day. 
It was at that time — when 'in his folly,' as he says, 
' he hoped soon to attain to a clear vision of God ' — that, 
seeking calm and retirement by the sea-shore, he met 
an aged man, meek and venerable, who led him at 
length from ' Plato to the Prophets, from metaphysics 
to faith. ' Pray before all things,' were the last words 
of this new master, ' that the gates of light be opened 
* to you ; for [the truths of revelation] are not compre- 

Chap. ii. 

His own nC' 
count of his 

^ Ap. I. 26 ; 2xe56i' xdi'res ^lev in Samaria. [Hipp.] Adv. Hcsr. ix. 

'Zafiape'is oXiyoi. d^ Kal iv ctAXcts ^dve- 29. 

criv US Tov TrpujTov 6ebv eKeXi^ou {Simon) '^ The following account is given 

o/xoKoyouvres [eK€LPOv'\ Kal irpoaicvvovai.. chiefly in a translation from his own 

Cf. Dial. c. 1 20. It is an instructive striking narrative. Dial. c. 2 sqq. 
fact that Sadducseism also prevailed 






Chap. ii. 

the true phi- 

The wide 
extent of 
Jiistin's la- 

His nume- 
rous writ- 

' hensible by the eye or mind of man, unless God and 
'his Christ give him understanding\' 

' Immediately a fire was kindled in my soul,' Justin 
adds, ' and I was possessed with a love for the prophets 
' and those men who are Christ's friends^ And as I 
' discussed his arguments with myself I found Christi- 
' anity to be the only philosophy that is sure and suited 
* to man's wants {aa(j)a\7j re koI <rv/ji(l>opov). Thus then, 
' and for this cause, am I a philosopher.' 

In the strength of his new conviction he travelled 
far and wide to spread the truth which he had found. 
In the public walk {xystus) at Ephesus Jie held a dis- 
cussion with the Jew Trypho, proving from the Old 
Testament that Jesus was the Christ. At Rome, he is 
said to have established a school where he endeavoured 
to satisfy the doubts of Greeks. Everywhere he appeared 
' as an ambassador of the Divine Word in the guise of 
' a philosopherV 

His active spirit found frequent expression in writing. 
Eusebius has given a list of such books of his ' as 
'had come to his own knowledge,' adding that there 
were besides 'very many other works which were widely 
' circulated^' Of the writings which now bear his name 
two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho are genuine 
beyond all doubt ; the rest are either undoubtedly 
spurious or reasonably suspected ^ But those three 

1 Dial. c. 7 ad fin. 

^ This phrase, in connexion with 
the phrase immediately below, jSou- 
\oLii7}v B.p...irdi'Tas...fir) d(pi(TTaa6ai 
rwv Tov licoTTJpos \6y(j}u, seems to 
point to Christian Scriptures coordi- 
nate with the Old Testament. The 
nature of the first interview with Try- 
pho precluded any more immediate 
mention of them at the time. 

3 Euseb. H. £. IV. ii. Cf. Dial. 

c. I. If the Cohortatio ad Grcecos be 
Justin's we must add Alexandria to 
the cities which he visited (c. 13). 
Compare Semisch, Denkwiird. yust. 
ss. 1 ff. 

Credner {Beitrdge, I. 99) suggests 
Corinth as the place where the Dia- 
logue took place, if it be historical. 

* Euseb. H. E. IV. 18. 

^ There is I believe a difference of 
style and tone which distinguishes 




books are invaluable so far as they combine to give a 
wide view of the relation of Christianity, not indeed to 
the Christian Church, but to heathendom and Judaism\ 
The evidence of Justin is thus invested with peculiar 
importance; and the difficulties by which it is perplexed, 
though they have been frequently exaggerated, are pro- 
portionately great. Since a general view of its chief 
features will render our inquiry into its extent and cha- 
racter easier and more intelligible, we may state by 
anticipation that his writings exhibit a mass of references 
to the Gospel-narrative ; that they embrace the chief 
facts of our Lord's life, and many details of His teach- 
ing ; that they were derived, at least frequently, from 
written records, which he affirms to rest upon Apo- 
stolic authority, and to be used in the public assemblies 
of Christians, though he does not mention the names of 
their authors. It is to be noticed further that these re- 
ferences generally coincide both in facts and substance 
with what has been related by the three Synoptic Evan- 
gelists (most commonly by St Matthew), that they pre- 
serve by implication peculiarities of each of the Gospels, 
that they nevertheless shew additions to the received 
narrative and remarkable variations from its text, which 
in some cases are both repeated by Justin and found 
also in other writings ^ 

the two Apologies and the Dialogue 
from all the other works attributed 
to Justin. The question is of little 
importance for our present inquiry, 
since the Gospel-references are chiefly 
found in the former. 

•■• The chronology of Justin's life is 
involved in considerable perplexity. 
After a complete examination of the 
evidence Mr Hort concludes that 
' we may without fear of considerable 
* error set down Justin's First Apo- 
'logy to 145 or better still to 146, 

'and his death to 148. The Second 
' Apology, if really separate from the 
'first, will then fall in 146 or 
* 147, and the Dialogue with Try- 
^phoii about the same time ' {Journal 
of Class, and Sacr. Philology, iii. 

139)- ■ 

^ Compare Semisch, Denkwiirdig- 
keiten Justin^s (Hamburg, 1848); 
Credner, Beitrdge, i. 92 — 267 (Halle, 
1832) ; Schwegler, D. nachaposto- 
lische Zeitalter, i. 217 — 231. [Later 
Essays by Hilgenfeld, Ritschl, Volk- 

H 2 

Chap. ii. 

A general 
account of 
the relation 
of his books 
to the Gospel- 




Chap. ii. 

Variotis so- 
httions of 
t/te probUvn 

Their com- 
mon ground 
to be ex- 

Such are the various phenomena which must be ex- 
plained and harmonized. At first the difficulties of the 
problem were hardly felt, and the testimony of Justin 
was quoted in support of our Gospels without doubt or 
justification. But when the whole question was fairly 
stated there came a reaction, and various new hypo- 
theses were proposed as offering a better solution of it 
than the traditional belief. Some fancied that Justin 
made use of one or more of the original sources from 
which the Canonical Gospels were derived. Others, with 
greater precision, identified his Memoirs of the Apostles 
with the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Others 
again suggested that he made use of a Harmony or 
combined narrative constructed out of Catholic mate- 
rials \ Further investigations shewed that these notions 
were untenable, and the old opinion had again gained 
currency, when Credner maintained with great sagacity 
and research that we must look for the peculiarities of 
his quotations in a Gospel according to St Peter, one of 
the oldest writings of the Church, which under various 
forms retained its influence among Jewish Christians 
even after the doctrine of St Paul had obtained general 
reception I 

In one respect all these theories are alike. They 
presuppose that Justin's quotations cannot be naturally 

mar, and the author of SMpernatural 
Religion, leave the main results of 
this chapter quite unchanged.] 

^ These various hypotheses are ex- 
amined clearly and satisfactorily by 
Semisch, ss. i6 — 33. 

2 Beilrdge, I. 266, 6^^. This Gospel 
according to Peter is supposed by 
Credner to have been ' essentially 
'identical with the Diatessaron of 
' Tatian and the Gospel according to 
'the Hebrews'' {Gesch.d.N. T.Katton, 

22). In the absence of satisfactory 
evidence it is impossible to examine 
seriously what is a mere conjecture. 
The early historic notices of the Gos- 
pel lend no support to the identifica- 
tion, and our knowledge of the con- 
tents of the Gospel is far too meagre 
to allow of any conclusion being 
drawn from internal evidence, especi- 
ally as all the early Gospels were re- 
censions (so to speak) of the original 
oral Gospel of the Apostolic age. 



reconciled with a belief in his use of our Gospels \ This 
is their common basis ; and instead of examining in 
detail the various schemes which have been built upon 
it, we may inquire whether it be itself sound. 

The first thing that must strike any one who ex- 
amines a complete collection of the passages in question 
is the general coincidence in range and contents with 
our Gospels. Nothing for instance furnished wider scope 
for Apocryphal narrative than the history of the In- 
fancy of our Lord : nothing on the other hand could 
be more fatal to Ebionism — the prevailing heresy of the 
age, as we are told — than the early chapters of St 
Matthew and St Luke. Yet Justin's account of the 
Infancy is as free from legendary admixture as it is 
full of incidents recorded by the Evangelists. He does 
not appear to have known anything more than they 

The Gospel according to Peter is 
expressly referred to by Eusebius as 
used at Rhossus in Cilicia in the time 
of Serapion (see below P. ii. c. 2. § 5); 
and by Origen, In Matt. T. X. 17; 
and again by Eusebius, H. E. ill. 
3, without any hint of its identity 
with the better known Gospel accord- 
ing to the Hebrews. In the fifth cen- 
tury however Theodoret {Hceret. Fab. 
II. 2) speaks of the ' Nazarenes as 
'Jews who hold Christ to be a just 
' man and use the so-called Gospel ac- 
* cording to Peter'' ; but the testimony 
is too late, even if it were explicit, to 
establish the supposed identity from 
what is known of the Nazarene 

The passage of Justin, Dial. c. 106 
(see p. II r, note 2), has I believe no- 
thing to do with this Gospel of Peter. 
The fragments of the Gospel according 
to the Hebrews which have been pre- 
served offer no remarkable parallels 
with Justin's citations. See below. 

^ Credner himself allows that Jus- 
tin was acquainted with the Canoni- 

cal Gospels of St Matthew, St Mark, 
and St Luke, though he used in pre- 
ference (p. 267) the Gospel of St 
Peter. His acquaintance with the 
Gospel of St John he considers more 
doubtful. Credner's words are well 
worthy of notice : ' Justin kannte in 
' der That, wie es auch kaum anders 
'denkbar ist, unsere Evangelien... 
' Nur allein liber die Bekanntschaft 
'Justin's mit dem Ev, des Johannes 
'lasst sich, ausser der allgemeinen 
'Analogic, nichts Bestimmtes nach- 
'weisen' {Beitrdge, i. 258), It was 
however unlikely that his conclusions 
should be allowed to remain so in- 
complete. Schwegler for instance 
says (i. 232): ' hat er (Justin) 
' ohne Zweifel die evayyekia Kara 
* Mardaiou, MdpKou, u. s. f., bei denen 
'es iiberdiess eine Frage ist, ob sie 
'damals schon existirten, nicht ge- 
' kannt, sondern ausschliesslich das 
'sogenannte Evangelium Petri... oder 
' das mit demselben identische He- 
' braer-evangelium beniitzt...' 


I. The gene- 
ral coinci- 
dence of 
y us tin's 
with our 
Gospels : 

I. Coinci- 
dejice in 



knew ; and he tells without suspicion what they have 

He tells us that Christ was descended from Abraham 
through Jacob, Judah, Phares, Jesse, and David^ — that 
the Angel Gabriel was sent to foretell His Birth to the 
Virgin Mary^ — that this was a fulfilment of the prophecy 
of Isaiah (vii. 14^) — that Joseph was forbidden in a vision 
to put away his espoused wife, when he was so minded'* 
— that our Saviour's Bir^h at Bethlehem had been fore- 
told by Micah^ — that his parents went thither from 
Nazareth where they dwelt, in consequence of the en- 
rolment under Cyrenius^ — that as they could not find a 
lodging in the village they lodged in a cave close by it, 
where Christ was born, and laid by Mary in a manger^ 
— that while there wise men from Arabia, guided by a 

^ Dial. c. 1-20. See c. 100, k^ dv 
Kardyei. -q Mapia rby^vos. Cf. c. 43. 
This interpretation of the genealogies 
was probably adopted early. Cle- 
ment of Alexandria, for example, 
distinctly refers the genealogy in S^ 
Matthew to the V. Mary : h t<^ Kara 
MaTddiov evayyeXicp r) aTrb 'AjSpaa/* 
yeveaXoyia /j.^xP'- Maptas rrjs /xrjTpbs 
rod Kvpiov TrcTratoOrat. The grounds 
on which this conclusion was based 
may have been false, but at least it is 
strange carelessness to quote Justin's 
acceptance of the conclusion as a 
proof that he used some other than 
the Canonical Gospels. 

^ Dial. c. 100; Luke i. 35, 38. 

3 Ap. I. 33 ; Matt. i. 23. 

^ Diat. c. 78; Matt. i. 18 sqq. 

^ Ap. I. 34; Dial. c. 78. Matt, 
ii. 5, 6. The quotation (Mic. v. 2) 
in Justin agrees verbally with that in 
St Matthew, with the exception that 
Justin omits t6v 'lapay'jX, and differs 
very widely from the LXX. Cf. 
Credner, Beitrdge, ii. 148 f. 

^ Ap. I. 34 : eTTi iLvp-r]viov roO 
v/xeripov ev 'loudaLg. irpwrov yevo/xevov. 

iTTirpbTrov. Dial. c. 78 : dTroypa^rjs 
oi)<xr)s iv TXi 'loudaig. t6t€ TrpLorrjs ejrl 
Kvprjviov. The agreement of these 
words with the true reading in Luke 
ii. 2 avrrj diroypatpr] irpwrr] iy^vero is 
worthy of notice. Cf. Credner, Beitr. 
I. 232 f. 

7 Dial. c. 78:...'E7ret5')) 'lojarj^ ovK 
elxcj' €P rrj KWfMT] eKeivrj irov Kora- 
Xvaai, ev aTrrjXalcp tivl a vveyyvs 
TTJs Kdofxrjs Kar^Xvcr €' Kai t6t€ 
avTWP 6vT(ji3v eK€i eTerdKet tj Mapia 
TOP 'KpiaTov Kal iv (pdrvri airdv 
iredelKei, k.t.X. Luke ii. 'j:...dvi- 
nXLvev avTov iv (pdrvrj (without the 
article) 8l6ti ovk rjv avrois tottos iv t(^ 
KaraXiuixaTL. The two accounts seem 
to be simply supplementary. Later 
Fathers {e.g. Orig. c. Ccls. I. 51) 
speak of the Cave without any mis- 
giving that they contradict St Luke : 
Epiphanius actually quotes him for 
the fact; 6 AowKas X^yeL...Tbv waXda 
...Kal KeXadaciv (paTvrj Kal kv airrjXaiip 
did TO fiT] dual tottov ev ry KaraXv- 
p,aTL {H(£r. 51, 9: p. 431). Thilo 
has collected the authorities on the 
question; Cod. Apocr. i. 381 sqq. 




star, worshipped Him, and offered Him gold and frank- 
incense and myrrh, and by revelation were commanded 
not to return to Herod to whom they had first come^ — 
that He was called Jesus as the Saviour of His people'^ 
— that by the command of God His parents fled with 
Him to Egypt for fear of Herod, and remained there till 
Archelaus succeeded him^ — that Herod being deceived 
by the wise men commanded the children of Bethlehem 
to be put to death, so that the prophecy of Jeremiah 
was fulfilled who spoke of Rachel weeping for her chil- 
dren"^ — that Jesus grew after the common manner of 
men, working as a carpenter, and so waited in obscurity 
thirty years more or less, till the coming of John the 

He tells us moreover that this John the son of Eliza- 
beth came preaching by the Jordan the baptism of re- 
pentance, wearing a leathern girdle and a raiment of 
camel's hair, and eating only locusts and wild honey ^ — 
that men supposed that he was the Christ, to whom he 

1 Dial. c. 78 ; Matt. ii. 11, 12. 
The repetition of the phrase airo 
'Appa/3i'as (cc. 77, 78, 88, 102, 103, 
1 06) is remarkable. The more spe- 
cific term is evidently a gloss adopted 
to bring out the correspondence with 
prophecy as to the ' strength of Da- 
mascus.' Damascus was reckoned 
as part of Arabia (c. 78, p. 305 a). 

2 Ap. I. 33; Matt. i. 21. 

^ Dial. cc. 78, 103; Matt. ii. 13. 

* Dial. c. 78; Matt. ii. 17, 18. 
There is a natural exaggeration in 
Justin's language which forms a re- 
markable contrast to St Matthew. 
'Herod ordered,' he says, 'all the 
* male children in Bethlehem without 
' exception {Trduras a-rrXuis rods Trdidas 
' rods eu BTjdXe^/j,) to be put to death.' 
Cf. c. 103. So again it is not unsig- 
nificant that he appeals to the pro- 
phecy (Jerem. xxxi. [xxxviii.] 15) in 

a different manner. St Matthew 
says simply rdre e-nXrjpLodr] to prjdiv 
but he more definitely tovto eweirpo- 
(pTJrevTo /jLcWeLu ylveadai. He trans- 
forms a typical event into a special 
prediction. In the Gospel they are 
markedly distinguished. 

The quotation is verbally the same 
in Justin and St Matthew, differing 
widely from the LXX. 

^ Dial. c. 88; Luke ii. 40, iii. 23. 
Mark vi. 3. The explanation of the 
Coael of St Luke is to be noticed. 

« Dial. c. 88, cf. cc. 49, 84 ; Matt, 
iii. I, 4; Luke i. 13; John i. 19 ff. 
The phrase ^Itadvvov Kade^oixhov eirl 
rod 'lopddvov, repeated by Justin 
[Dial. cc. 88, 51), is changed into 
Kade^Ofi^uov eiri tov ^lopddvrjv in c. 49. 
There can be no reason to think with 
Credner (p. 218) that Justin found 
the words in his Gospel. 




answered I am not the Christ, but a voice of one crying ; 
for He that is mightier than I will soon come (rj^ei), 
whose sandals I a^n not worthy to bear — that when 
Jesus descended into the Jordan to be baptized by him 
a fire was kindled in the river, and when He came up 
out of the water the Holy Spirit as a dove lighted upon 
Him, and a voice came from Heaven saying Thoti art 
my Son; this day have I begotten Thee^ — that imme- 
diately after His Baptism the devil came to Jesus and 
tempted Him, bidding Him at last to worship him^ He 
further adds that Christ Himself recognised John as the 
Elias who should precede Him, to whom men had dofte 
whatsoever they listed ; and thus He relates how Herod 
put John into prison ; and how the daughter of Herodias 
danced before the king on his birthday and pleased him, 
so that he promised to grant her anything she wished, 
and that she by her mother's desire asked for the head 
of John to be given her on a charger, and that so John 
was put to death ^ 

Henceforth, after speaking in general terms of the 
miracles of Christ, how He healed all manner of sichtess 
and disease^, Justin says little of the details of His Life 
till the last great events. Then he narrates Christ's 
triumphal entry into Jerusalem from Bethphage as a 
fulfilment of prophecy ^ the (second) cleansing of the Tem- 
ple®, the conspiracy against Him^, the institution of the 

^ Dial. cc. 88, 103. Compare ii. 
1. 7, below, for an explanation of the 
Apocryphal additions to the text of 
the Evangelists. 

" Dial. cc. 103, 125. The order 
of the Temptations followed by Justin 
is therefore apparently that of St 
Matthew. Semisch, s. 99 anm. 

^ Dial. c. 49; Matt. xvii. 11 — 13. 

4 Ap. I. 31, 48; Dial. c. ()(^. Matt. 
iv. 23. 

5 Ap. I. 35 ; Dial. c. 53. The 
version of the prophecy is different 
in the two passages. The first part 
however in both agrees with the 
LXX. and differs from St Matthew; 
the last words on the contrary agree 
better with St Matthew than with 
the LXX. Cf. Semisch, ss. 117 — 


Dial. c. 17. 
7 Dial. c. 104. 




Eucharist /^r the remembra7ice of Him^^ the singing of 
the Psalm afterwards ^ the Agony at night on the Mount 
of OHves at which three of His disciples w^ere present^ 
the prayer*, the bloody sweat^, the arrest^, the flight of 
the Apostles^, the silence before Pilate^, the remand to 
Herod^, the Crucifixion, the division of Christ's raiment 
by lot^^ the signs and words of mockery of the by- 
standers ^\ the Cry of Sorrow^^ the Last Words of Resig- 
nation ^^ the Burial on the evening of the day of the 
Passion^'', the Resurrection on Sunday ^^, the Appearance 
to the Apostles and disciples, how Christ opened to 
them the Scriptures^^, the calumnies of the Jews^^, the 
commission to the Apostles ^^, the Ascension ^^ 

The same particularity, the same intertexture of the 
narratives of St Matthew and St Luke — for St Mark has 
few peculiar materials to contribute — the same occasional 
introduction of a minute trait or of higher colouring, 
characterize the great mass of Justin's references to the 
Gospel-history. These features are as distinctly marked 
in his account of the Passion as of the Nativity. There 
are some slight differences in detail, which will be noticed 
afterwards, but the broad resemblance remains unchanged. 
The incidents of the Gospel-narrative to which Justin 
refers appear to be exactly such as he might have derived 

1 Ap. I. 6(). Cf. Dial. cc. 41, 70. 

2 Dial. c. 106. 
2 Dial. c. 99.. 

4 Ibid. 

5 Dial. c. 103. Cf. A p. I. 50; 
Dial. c. 53. 

^ Dial. c. 103. Dial. 103, ouSeis 
7ap ohhk fJ'^XP'-^ ^^^^ apdpdirov ^orjdeiu 
ai/TU} (hs dvafJLapT-qTO) ^orjdos {jir^px^- 
The words are suggested by Ps. xxi. 
(xxii.) 12 ovK ^ariv 6 (iorjdusv, and I 
cannot see in them any ' contradic- 
tion ' of the Gospels. Cf. Matt. xxvi. 

7 Dial. c. 53. 

^ Dial. c. 102. 

^ Dial. c. 103; Luke xxiii. 7. 

10 Dial. c. 97. Cf. Ap. I. 35. ' 

11 Ap. I. 38; Dial.c. loi. 

12 Dial. c. 99. 

1^ Dial. c. 105; Luke xxiii. 46. 

^^ Dial. c. 97. 

15 Ap. I. 67. 

1^ Dial. cc. 53, 106. Ap. I. 50. 

17 Dial. c. 108; Matt, xxviii. 13. 
See p. 150 if. 

18 Ap. I. 61. 

1" Dial. 1^2; Ap. I. 46. 



Chap. ii. 

2. Coinci- 
dence in the 
o/ our Lord's 

How far 
y us tin's 
•were limited 
by his posi- 

Relation to 
St John's 

from the Synoptic Evangelists. His object is to give 
a general view of the substance of the Evangelic records; 
and not to reproduce exactly any one record: The 
variations in his quotations of the same passage abso- 
lutely exclude the latter supposition. 

The greater part however of Justin's references are 
made to the teaching of the Saviour, and not to His 
work3. He spoke of Christianity as a power mighty in 
its enduring and godlike character. He spoke of Christ 
as Him of whom the prophets witnessed. But miracles 
— those transient signs of a Divine Presence — are almost 
unnoticed in comparison with the words which bear for 
ever the living stamp of their original source. This 
form of argument was in some degree imposed upon him 
by the position which he occupied ; but to such a mind 
as his it was no less congenial than necessary. Whether 
he addressed Heathen or Jews, the fulfilment of pro- 
phecy furnished him with a striking outward proof of 
the claims of Christianity ; and the moral teaching of 
Christ completed the impression by introducing an in- 
ward proof It was enough if he could bring men to 
listen to the teaching of the Church. It was not his 
task to anticipate its office, or to do away with the dis- 
cipline and duties of the catechumen. To forget this is 
to forget the very business of an Apologist. And yet 
the entire consistency of his writings with their proposed 
end has furnished an objection against the authenticity 
of St John's Gospel. For unless we put out of sight 
the purpose for which Justin wrote, can it be a matter 
of wonder that he makes few allusions to the ' spiritual 
Gospel ' — that he exhibits few traces of those deep and 
mysterious revelations which our Lord vouchsafed under 
peculiar circumstances, for the conviction of his enemies, 
or for the confirmation of believing hearts ? They were 




of no weight as evidence, even as our Lord himself 
said ; and the time was not yet come when Justin 
could naturally unfold them to his hearers. The same 
cause which retarded the publication of St John's 
Gospel deferred the use of it. It was a spiritual sup- 
plement to the others — a light from heaven to kindle 
them into life : but it was necessary that the sub- 
stance should exist, before the supplement could be 
added ; it was necessary that the body should be fully 
formed, before the spirit, the highest life, could be 
infused into it. 

It has been already shewn that the incidents in the 
Life of Christ which Justin mentions stfikingly coincide 
with those narrated in the Gospels ; the style and lan- 
guage of the quotations which he makes from Christ's 
teaching agree no less exactly with those of the Evan- 
gelists. He quotes frequently from memory^ ; he inter- 
weaves the words which we find at present separately 
given by St Matthew, St Mark, and St Luke^; he con- 
denses, combines, transposes, the language of our Lord as 
they have recorded it** ; he makes use of phrases charac- 
teristic of different Gospels*; yet, with very few excep- 
tions, he preserves through all these changes the marked 

Chap. ii. 
yohn V. 47. 

1 This follows from the fact that 
his quotations of the same passage 
differ. See pp. 127 sqq. 

2 (a) Matthew and Luke: Dial. 

c. 17, 5i'7<^; Ap. T. 19; 
(j8) Matthew and Mark: Ap. I. 


» E.g. Ap. I. 15, ^z'>Dial. cc. 49, 
77, 78, &^c. 

* (a) Words characteristic of St 
Matthew: e.g. ^aaCKela tCjv 
ovpavCiv — fiaXada — [cVa ttX?;- 
pudrj TO piqdev, de Resurr. 
C. 4.] — 6 Trarrfp 6 h Tois OV' 
pavols — ipp(6r] — ^pex^iv (im- 

pers.) — dvarkWeiv (act.). 

(^) Words characteristic of St 
Luke: e. g: xdpts— ei)a77e- 
\L^€(xdat — vios v\f'i(TTou. 

(7) Words characteristic of St 
John : e. g. reicva Oeov — 
irpocrKVVovfiev Xoyq) koX dX??- 
delq. TLfiCovTes — to vSwp ttjs 
^carjs — 7777777 vSaTos ^wj'tos — 
— 0c3s. Credner's remark 
{Beitrdge, I. p. 2 13) that there 
is no trace of the linguistic 
peculiarities of our Evangel- 
ists in Justin's quotations 
seems to me to be incorrect. 

(a) Coinci- 
dences in 



peculiarities of the New Testament phraseology without 
the admixture of any foreign element'. 

And more than this: though he omits the Parables ^ 
which are rather lessons of wisdom than laws of autho- 
rity, he refers to parts of the whole series of our Lord's 
discourses given in the Synoptic Gospels; and attributes 
only two sayings to Him which are not substantially 
found there ^ The first call to repentance^ the Sermon 
on the Mount^ the gathering from the East and West^ 
the invitation to sinners^, the description of the true fear*, 
the charge to the Apostles^, the charge to the Seventy*", 
the mission of John", the revelation of the Father*^, the 
promise of the 5ign of Jonah '^, the prophecy of the. Pas- 
sion ^^, the acknowledgement of Sonship*^, the teaching 
on the price of a soul**', on marriage*^, on the goodness 
of God alone *^ on the tribute due to Cassar*^, on the two 
commandments ^°, the woes against the Scribes and Phari- 
sees^', the prophecy concerning false teachers ''^^, the de- 
nouncement of future punishment on the wicked ^^ the 

^ The differencesof language which 
I have noticed are the following: 
Kaivov TroL€LT€ [Ap. I. 15, bis) — bkpfia- 
ra irpo^cLTtjiu {Ap. I. 16 ; Dial. c. 35 ; 
cf. Hebr. xi. 37) — (XKoXoTr€v5pu)v{DiaL 
c, 76) — fevbairoaroXot {Dial. c. 35) 
— dLKacoffvuTju Kal evai^eiav irXrjpov- 
adaL [Dial, c, 93) — at /cXets [Dial. c. 
17) — dp-a (freq.). Credner {p. 260) 
quotes kirl t<^ di/SpLari avrov as a pe- 
culiarity, but surely without reason. 
Cf. Matt, xviii. 5, xxiv. 5; Mark ix. 
39 ; Luke ix. 48, 49, xxi. 8. 

2 The only references to the Pa- 
rables are, I believe, to that of the 
Sower and of the Talents {Dial. c. 


^ Dial. c. 47: Atb Kal 'qp.erepos 
Kijpios ^lijcrovs ^piaros eXwev 'E;/ oh 
dv vp,ds KaToKd^w, kv tovtols Kal Kpivu 
{Kpivcj, Credner). Dial. c. 35. See 
below, ii. a. 7. 

^ Dial. c. 51 ; Matt. iv. 17. 

5 Ap. I. 

15. I 

5; Dial. 

cc. 96, 105, 


15, 133. 
6 Dial 

c. 76. 

^ Ap. I. 


8 Ap. 

1. 19. 

8 Dial. 

:. 82 

Matt. X 

. 22. 

I'' Ap. I 


Luke X. 




76 ; Luke x. 


li Dial. 

c. 51 

; Matt. xi. 12- 


1^ Ap. I 


Dial. c. 



%i. 27. 

13 Dial. 

C, 10 



c. 8) 

1^ Dial. cc. 76, 100. 

15 Dial. c. 76. 

16 Ap. I. 15. 
1'' Ap. I. 15; Matt. xix. 12. 

I ; Luke xx. 35, 36. 

18 Ap. I. 16; Dial. c. loi. 

19 Ap. I. 17. 

^'^ Ap.i. 16; Dial. c. 93. 

21 Dial. cc. 17, 112, 122. 

22 Ap. I. 16; Dial. cc. 35, 82. 

23 Ap.i. 16; Dial.c. 76. Cf. ^/. 
I. 17; Lukexii. 48. 




teaching after the Resurrection^ — are all clearly recog- 
nized, and quoted, if not always in the language of any 
one Evangelist, at least in the dialect of the New Testa- 
ment. At present we do not offer any explanation of 
the peculiar form which Justin's quotations wear. It is 
sufficient to remark that both in range and tone, in sub- 
stance and expression, they bear a general and striking 
likeness to the contents of our Gospels. 

Up to this time it has been noticed that the quota- 
tions from the Gospel-history in the eafrly Fathers are 
almost uniformly anonymous. The words of Christ were 
as a living voice in the Church, apart from any written 
record; and the great events of His Life were symbolized 
in its services. In Justin the old and new meet. He 
habitually represents Christ as speaking, and not the 
Evangelist as relating His discourses ; but he also dis- 
tinctly refers to histories, the famous Memoirs of the 
Apostles^, in w^hich he found written ' all things con- 
'cerning Jesus Christ' These striking words mark the 
presence of a new age^ The written records were now 
regarded as the sufficient and complete source of know- 
ledge with regard to the facts of the Gospel. Tradition, 
to which Papias still appealed, was by Justin definitely 
cast aside as a new source of information. The expression 
is casual, but on this account it presents only the more 
clearly the instinctive conviction of the Christian society 
to which Justin belonged. 

The peculiar objects which Justin had in view in his 

^ Ap. I. 61 ; Dial. c. 53. forms it appears frequently in Eccle- 

2 Tot ' ATrofxvr}iJ.ove{ifJi.aTa tCjv 'Atto- siastical Greek. Euseb. H. E. III. 

arbXtav. Cf. p. in, note 2. The 39; v. 8; vi. 25. It can scarcely 

title was probably adopted from that be necessary to remark that the geni- 

of Xenophon's well-known 'Airofivr]- tive may describe either the author 

/xove^fiara ^uKpcirovs, from which in- or the subject, 

deed the word had been already bor- ^ Cf. p. 112, n. i. 
rowed by several writers. In various 




Chap. ii. 

of his writ- 
ings called 
for no exact 
of these Me- 

The differ^ ^ 
ent modes in 
ivhich he 
quotes them 
in his Apo- 
logy and in 
his Dia- 

extant writings did not suggest, even if they did not 
exclude, any minute description of these comprehensive 
records. It would have added nothing to the vivid pic- 
ture of Christianity which he drew for the heathen to 
have quoted with exact precision the testimony of this 
or that Apostle, even if such a mode of quotation had 
been usual. One thing they might require to know, and 
that he tells them, that the words of Christ were still the 
text of Christian instruction, that the Memoirs of the 
Apostles were still read together with the writings of 
the Prophets in their weekly services \ The writings to 
w^hich he appealed were not only complete in their con- 
tents but they were publicly attested. There was no room 
for interpolation of new facts or for the introduction of 
new documents into the use of the Christian Church. 
The heathen inquirer looked to the general character 
of Christianity, and on that point Justin satisfies him. 
So on the other hand the great difficulty in a contro- 
versy with a Jew was to shew that the humiliation and 
death of Christ were reconcileable with the Messianic 
prophecies. The chief facts were here confessed, the work 
of the Apologist was to harmonize the prediction and the 
fulfilment. In both cases his task was preparatory and not 
final, to lay the foundation of faith and not to build it up ; 
and with this object it was enough for him to assert gene- 
rally that the Memoirs which he quoted rested upon 
Apostolic authority ^ 

The manner in which Justin alludes to these Memoirs 
of the Apostles in his first Apology and in his Dialogue 
with Trypho confirms what has been just said. If his 
mode of reference had not been modified by the nature of 
his subject, it would surely have been the same in both. 
As it is, there is a marked difference, and exactly such as 

1 Ap. I. 67. ^ Dial. c. 103. 




might have been expected. In the Apology, which con- 
tains nearly fifty allusions to the Gospel-history, he speaks 
only twice of the Apostolic authorship of his Memoirs, 
and in one other place mentions them generally \ In 
the Dialogue, which contains about seventy allusions, he 
quotes them ten times, directly or by implication, as 
The Memoirs of the Apostles, and in four other places 
as The Memoirs'^, 

This difference is still more striking when examined 
closely. Every quotation of our Lord's words in the 
Apology is simply introduced by the phrases ' thus 
' Christ said ' or 'taught' or ^exhorted;' His words were 
their own witness. For the public events of His Life 
Justin refers to the Enrolment of Quirinus and the Acts 
of Pilate^ He quotes the ' Gospels' only when he must 
speak of things beyond the range of common history. 
Standing before a Roman emperor as the apologist of 
the Christians, he confines himself as far as possible to 
common ground ; and if he is compelled for illustration 

1 Ap. I. (id, 67, 33 : cf. c. 6r. 

2 It will be useful to give a classi- 
fication of all the passages in which 
Justin quotes the Memoirs, with the 
forms of quotation. The following 
will suffice to explain and justify the 
statement in the text : * 

(a) Generally: ra airofivrjixo- 
ve^lMara tQv diroaTdXojv. Dial. 
c. 100, yeypaiJ.fiivov ev r. aTrofip. r. 
dx. cc. loi, 103, 104, 106, y^pair- 
rai ev r. aTOfiv. r. air. c. 102, iv 
T. diroixv. T. air. dedrjXwTai. c. 106, 
iv T. dirofiv. T. dir. BrjXovTai yeyevTj- 
nivov. c. 88, '^ypatpav ol dirbcTToKoL. 

(j8) Specially: Dial, c, 106, ye- 
ypd<f>dat ev rots drroixv. airov (i. e. 
JliTpov) yey evr]jjIvov. c. 103, [aTro- 
fiv7jiiovevp.aTa\ d <^r}/xc iTrb twv diro- 
CToXojv avTOv Kal tQp eKeiuon vapa- 
KoKovdrjadvTwv (xwreTaxdat.. It is 
obvious that the article in both 

cases describes the class to which 
the writers belonged. If the article 
in the first case ' refers the Memoirs 
' to the collective body of the Apos- 
' ties ' ; what is * the collective body ' 
of the disciples ? 

(7) ra dTrofivrjfiopevfjiaTa. 
Dial. c. 105, dirb r. diroixv. ifiddofxev. 
c. 105, iK T. diro/JLV. ^ixadov. c. 105, 
107, €v Toh dirop.v. yiypairrai. 

^ Ap. I. 34: d>s KoX ixadetv bvvaade 
iK T(£v dTToypa^Qv tCov yevo/xivuv ^irl 
Kvprivlov. c. 35 : /cat ravra ore yi- 
yove dvvaade /xadeiv e/c tQiv eirl Hov- 
riov IliXdrov yevofiivwv uktuv. Whe- 
ther Justin referred to the Apocry- 
phal Acls of Pilate which we now 
have, or not, is of no importance: 
it is only necessary to remark the 
kind of evidence which he thought 
best suited to his design. 




to quote the books of the Christians, he takes care to 
shew that they were recognised by the Church, and 
were no private documents of his own. Thus in speak- 
ing of the Annunciation he says: 'And the Angel of 
' God sent to the Virgin at that season announced to 
'her glad tidings, saying, Behold thou shalt conceive of 
' the Holy Spirit, and bear a Son, and He shall be called 
* the Son of the Highest ; and thou shalt call His name 
' Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins ; as 
'those who have written Memoirs of all things con- 
' cerning our Saviour Jesus Christ taught us, whom we 
'believed, since also the Prophetic Spirit said that this 
'would come to pass\' So again when explaining the 
celebration of the Eucharist he adds : ' The Apostles in 
'the Memoirs made by them, which are called Gospels, 
'handed down that it was thus enjoined on them^... 

^ Ap. I. 33 : ws 01 Liroiivr,ixcviv- 
(xavT€$ travTa rh irepl rod o-wr^yoos 
T^/xQv 'Irjo'ov Xptarou idida^av k.t.X. 
The phrase ol a.iroixvr)ixovevaavTe$ re- 
cals Tertullian's remarkable phrase 
' Matthseus commentator Evangelic 
[de came Chris ti 22. Cf. de resurr. 
cam. 33), that is 'compiler of the 
' Gospel ' (commentarii). Credner (p. 
129) raises a difficulty about the de- 
scription. Where, he asks, is the 
written Gospel which could contain 
all? The quotation points to St 
Luke ; and St Luke himself tells 
us that his Gospel contained an ac- 
count concerning all things (Trept 
TrdvTwv) Hhatyesus began to do and 
Ho teach'' (Acts i. i). The coinci- 
dence is at least well worthy of 
notice. It removes the difficulty, 
even if it dods not also point to the 
very source of Justin's language. Cf. 
supr, p. 109. 

^ Ap. I. (id: ol yhp CLTToaToXoi iv 
Toh yevofxivoLs vtt avrwv dTrofivrj/xopev- 
fxaffcv, a KoXeiTac evayyeXta, ovtojs 
irapiduKav ivTerakdai ai^roty... The 

conjecture that a KaXeZrai evayy(- 
Xia is a gloss is very unfortunate. 
It could not be intended for the in- 
formation of Christian readers; and 
a copyist would scarcely be likely to 
supply for the use of heathen what 
Justin had not thought fit to add. 
Credner's argument that if our Gos- 
pels were referred to Justin would 
have said d KaXeirat tcl T^aaapa 
evayyO^ia {Gesch. d. N. T. Kanon, 
107) is even more unhappy, and a 
singular instance of a want of appre- 
hension of the cirdumstances of the 
writing. The use of the term 'Gospels' 
in this connexion is more important 
than might appear at first ; for ' there is 
* really no proof that in the time of 
'Justin Martyr (with the possible ex- 
' ception of the Gospel according to 
' the Hebrews) there was a single 
'work, bearing the title of a Gospel, 
' which as a history of Christ'' s Minis- 
' ti-y came into competition with our 
' present four Gospels ....' Dr Abbot, 
The authorship of the Fo^^rth Gospel, 
Boston, 1880, p. 16, and for the* use 




And once more, when describing the Christian Service he 
notices that 'the Memoirs of the Apostles or the writings 
* of the Prophets are read, as long as the time admits^' 

There is no further mention of the Memoirs in the 
Apology. In the Dialogue the case was somewhat dif- 
ferent. Trypho was himself acquainted with the Gospel^ 
and Justin's language becomes proportionately more 
exact The words of our Lord are still quoted very 
often simply as His words, without any acknowledge- 
ment of a written record ; but from time to time, when 
reference is made to words which seem to be of more 
special moment, it is added that they are so 'written in 
*the Gospell' In one passage the contrast between the 
substance of Christ's teaching and the record of it is 
brought out very clearly. After speaking of the death 
of John the Baptist, Justin adds: 'Wherefore also our 

of the plural, even without the arti- 
cle, for a reference to a passage in 
one Gospel : ibid. p. 98. 

1 Ap. I. 6^. 

2 Dial. c. 10: TO, ep t^j Xeyofiiucp 
€vayy€Xi(^ Trapayy^Xfiara. The use 
of the singular, which recurs c. 100, 
is worthy of notice when compared 
with the plural A/>. i. 66 (see above 
p. 1 1 2, n. 2 ) ; but nothing can be more 
unreasonable than to conclude (Cred- 
ner, GescA. d. N. T. Kanon, § 10) 
that the reference is necessarily to a 
single history. W}ayyk\iov and Evan- 
geliuin were used' from the first with 
the same latitude as the Gospel with 
us. Thus Irenreus in the great pas- 
sage where he treats of the charac- 
teristics and mystical types of the 
four Gospels says : hirola ovv y] irpxy- 
/xareia tov vIqv tov deov, Toiavrrj /cat 
tQu ^wojv (the Cherubim) i] /Mopcpi^' 
Kal oiroia r) ruv ^iboov n.op<f>r}^ tolovto^ 
Kal 6 xapa/CTT?/) rod evayyeXiov. Te- 
Tpdfxop(pa yap ra ^<2a, Terpdfxopcpov 
Kal t6 €vay)€Xiou koI tj irpayixaTela 

TOV KVpi0V...T0{)T(aV 5k OVTOiS k')(pvrijiv 

IxaraioL Tr6i>Tes...ol dderovvTes tt]V 


id^av TOV ei)ayye\lov koL elVe irXelova 
€LT€ eXoTTOva TU3V elprjfieviov irapeia- 
(p^popres evayyeXlcop irpoawTra (Iren. 
III. II. 8, 9). Whatever may be 
thought of the argument of Irenaeus, 
his words shew clearly that our four 
Gospels might be referred to either 
as evayyiXiov or evayyeXia. Tertul- 
lian's language is of the same cha- 
racter: Nam sicut in veteribus...ita 
in Evangelio responsionem Domini 
ad Philippum tuentur {adv. Prax. 
20). Of Theophilus Jerome says : 
Legi sub ejus nomine in Evangelium 
Commentarios {de Virr. III. s. v.). 
And once again Origen at the begin- 
ning of his Coinfnentary on St John 
writes koX yap ToX/xrjriov elirelv iraffujp 
TLov ypa(pU3v eXvai dirapxrjv Tb tvayyi- 
Xiov. The singular occurs also in 
[Clem.] £p. Sec. c. viii. Xiyei 6 ki'j- 
pios ev T(p evayyeXi(i}' and probably 
in Ma7't. Polyc. c. iv. ovx ovtojs 5tSd- 
(T/cet TO evayyeXiov the reference is to 
the written Gospel. See also pp. 58 f. 
and Dr Abbot, I.e. p. 22 n. 
* Cf. below, p. 131 ff. 

Chap. ii. 

T/ie quota- 
tions in the 





chap, ii. 


St Mark. 

St Luke. 

His more 
exact de- 
scription of 
the author- 
ship of the 

' Christ when on earth told those who said that EHas 
'must come before Christ, EHas indeed will come and 
' will restore all things ; but I say to you that EHas came 
' already, and they knew him not, but did to him all that 
'they listed. And it is written, Then understood the 
' disciples that he spake to them concennng John the Bap- 
tist^.' In another place it appears that Justin refers 
particularly to a passage in the Memoirs. ' The mention 
' of the fact,' he says, * that Christ changed the name of 
' Peter one of the Apostles and that the event has been 
'written in his (Peter's) Memoirs, together with His 
'having changed the name of two other brethren who 
'were sons of Zebedee to Boanerges, tended to signify 
'that He was the same through whom the surname 
' Israel was given to Jacob, and Joshua to HosheaV 
Now the surname given to James and John is only 
found at present in one of our Gospels, and there it is 
mentioned in immediate connexion with the change of 
Peter's name. That Gospel is the Gospel of St Mark, 
which by the universal voice of antiquity was referred to 
the authority of St Peter^ That Justin found also in 
his Memoirs facts at present peculiar to St Luke's nar- 
rative is equally clear: for he writes 'Jesus as He gave 
'up His Spirit upon the cross said Father, into Thy 
'hands I commend my Spirit: even as I learned from 
' the Memoirs this fact also^' 

But this is not all : in his Apology Justin speaks of 
the Memoirs generally as written by the Apostles. In 
the Dialogue his words are more precise : ' In the Me- 
' moirs, v/hich I say were composed by the Apostles and 
' those who followed them, [it is written] that Sweat as 

1 Dial. c. 49; Matt. xvii. 13; cf. 
p. 132. 

2 Dial. c. 106; Mark iii. 16, 17. 

3 Cf. pp. 74 f. 

^ Dial. c. 105 ; Luke xxiii. 46. 




' drops [of blood] streamed down [Jesus] as He was pray- 
' ing and saying Let this cup if it be possible pass away 
'from me^J The description, it will be seen, precedes 
the quotation of a passage found in St Luke, the follower 
of an Apostle, and not an Apostle himself. Some such 
fact as this is needed to explain why Justin distinguishes 
at this particular time the authorship of the records 
which he used. And no short account would apply 
more exactly to our present Gospels than that which he 
gives. Two of them were written by Apostles, two by 
their followers. There were many Apocryphal Gospels, 
but it is not known that any one of them bore the name 
of a follower of the Apostles. The application of Justin's 
words to our Gospels seems indeed absolutely necessary 
when they are compared with those of Tertullian, who 
says^ : ' we lay down as a principle first that the Evan- 
' gelic Instrument has Apostles for its authors, on whom 
' this charge of publishing the Gospel was imposed by the 
' Lord himself ; that if [it includes the writings of] Apo- 

* stolic men also, still they were not alone, but [wrote] 

* with [the help of] Apostles and after [the teaching of] 
' Apostles. . . In fine, John and Matthew out of the num- 

^ Dial. c. 103 : h tols dirofMP'n/xo- 
veifiacLV, a, (ptj/xi virb rdv airoaTokwv 
aiiTov Kal tQp eKeivois irapaKoXovdr)- 
<xdvTij}v (Luke i. 3) crvvTeTaxdai, [yi- 
ypaTTTai] on tSpc^S' wcrei Opd/x^OL /care- 
Xetro avToO euxo/i^i'ou /cat X^yovros 
llapeXdirw el duparbv rb iroT-qpiov 
TovTO. Luke xxii. 44 (Matt. xxvi. 
39). The omission of the word a'i- 
fiaros was probably suggested by the 
passage in Psalm xxii. 14 which Jus- 
tin is explaining (Semisch, p. 147). 
It cannot have arisen from any Do- 
cetic tendency, as the whole context 
shews. The entire pericope (vv. 43, 
44) is omitted by very important au- 
thorities, but I cannot find that a'i/xa- 
Tos alone is omitted elsewhere than 

in Justin. (Yet cf. Hipp. ap. Tisch- 
df.) Cf. Griesbach, with Schulz's 
additions, and Tischdf. ad loc. 

Epiphanius {adv. Hcer. ii. 2. 59, 
quoted by Semisch) insists on the 
sweat only, though he quotes the 
verse at length. 

2 Tertull. adv. Marc. IV. 2 : Con- 
stituimus imprimis evangelicum in- 
strumentum apostolos autores habere, 
quibus hoc munus evangelii promul- 
gandi ab ipso Domino sit impositum ; 
si et apostolicos, non tamen solos sed 
cum apostolis et post apostolos... 
Denique nobis fidem ex apostolis 
Johannes et Matthaeus insinuant, ex 
apostolicis Lucas et Marcus instau- 

I 2 

Chap. ii. 

■with that oj 




Chap. ii. 

The sub- 
stance of 
y us tin's 
from them. 

A summary 
of all that 
Justin says 
of them. 

'ber of the Apostles implant faith in us, Luke and 
' Mark out of the number of their followers refresh it,..' 

In addition to these cardinal quotations from the 
Memoirs, Justin refers to them elsewhere in his Dialogue 
for facts and words from the Evangelic history. As the 
exact form of all these quotations will be examined 
afterwards as far as may be necessary, it will be suf- 
ficient now merely to shew by a general enumeration 
the extefit of their coincidence with our Gospels \ They 
include an account of the Birth of our Lord from a 
Virgin ^ of the appearance of a Dove at His Baptism^, 
of His Temptation*, of the conspiracy of the wicked 
against Him^ of the hymn which He sang with His 
disciples before His betrayal^ of His silence before 
Pilate^ of His Crucifixion at the Passover^, of the mock- 
ery of His enemies®. So also Justin quotes from them 
His reproof of the righteousness of the Pharisees^", and 
how He gave them only the sign of Jonah"; and pro- 
claimed that He alone could reveal the Father to men'^ 

This then is the sum of what Justin says of the Me- 
moirs of the Apostles. They were many, and yet one": 
they were called Gospels : they Contained a record of all 
things concerning Jesus Christ : they were admitted by 
Christians generally : they were read in their public ser- 

^ It is interesting to compare this 
summary of special references with 
the list of all Justin's Evangelic re- 
ferences given already, pp. 102 ff. 

2 Dial, c: 105. 

3 Dial. c. 88. 

4 Dial. c. 103. 

5 Dial. c. 104. 

6 Dial. c. 106; Matt. xxvi. 30. 

^ Dial. c. 102 ; Matt, xxvii. 12 ff.; 
Mark xv. 3 ff. 
8 Dial. c. III. 
^ Dial. c. loi; Matt, xxvii. 39 — 


I*' Dial. c. 105; Matt. v. 20. 

" Dial. c. 107; Matt. xii. 38 — 41. 

12 Dial. c. roo; Matt. xi. 27. 

■^3 Ap. 1. 66: d KaXelTai evayyiXia. 
Dial; c. 100 : iv r^ ei)ayyeXtV 7^- 
ypairrai. This view of the essential 
oneness of the Gospels explains very 
naturally the freedom with which 
different narratives were combined 
in quotation, Irenseus was appa- 
rently the first to recognise, however 
imperfectly, variety in this unity. 
See p. 113, n. 2. As the records 
were several so too were the writers : 
^/- I- 33. P- 112, n. I. 




vices : they were of Apostolic authority, though not ex- 
clusively of Apostolic authorship : they were composed 
in part by Apostles and in part by their followers. And 
beyond this, we gather that they related facts only men- 
tioned at present by one or other of the Evangelists : 
that thus they were intimately connected with each 
one of the synoptic Gospels : that they contained no- 
thing, as far as Justin expressly quotes them, which our 
Gospels do not now substantially contain. And if we 
go still further, and take in the whole mass of Justin's 
anonymous references to the life and teaching of Christ, 
the general effect is the same. The resemblance be- 
tween the narratives is \n the one case more exact, but 
in the other it is more extensive. Up to this point of 
our inquiry, and omitting for the moment all considera- 
tion of Justin's historical relation to the anonymous 
Roman Canon of Muratori^ and to Irenaeus, the identi- 
fication of his Memoirs with our Gospels seems to be as 
reasonable as it is natural. But on the other hand it is 
said that there are fatal objections to this identification ; 
that Justin nowhere mentions the Evangelists by name : 
that the text of his quotations differs materially from 
that of the Gospels : that he introduces Apocryphal 
additions into his narrative. And each of- these state- 
ments must be examined before the right weight can 
be assigned to these general coincidences between the 
Gospels and Memoirs in subject, language, and charac- 
ter, of which we have hitherto spoken. 

It has been already shewn ^ that there were peculiar 
circumstances in Justin's case which rendered any defi- 
nite quotation of the Evangelists unlikely and unsuit- 
able, even if such a mode of quotation had been com- 
mon at the time. But in fact when he referred to 
^ See below § 12. ^ p. no. 

Chap, ii. 

Objections to 
their identi- 
our Gospels. 

(i) The au- 
thors' names 
are not men- 

but the Gos- 
pels are 




Chap. ii. 

referred to 
ly by other 

written records of Christ's life and words he made an 
advance beyond which the later Apologists rarely pro- 
ceeded \ Tatian his scholar has several allusions to 
passages contained in the Gospels of St Matthew and 
St John, but they are all anonymous^ Athenagoras 
quotes the words of our Lord as they stand in St Mat- 
thew four times, and appears to allude to passages in 
St Mark and St John, but he nowhere mentions the 
name of an Evangelist ^ TheopJiihis in his Books to 
Autolycus cites five or six precepts from ' the Gospel ' 
or * the Evangelic voice,' and once only mentions John 
as ' a man moved by the Holy Spirit,' quoting the pro- 
logue to his Gospel ; though he elsewhere classes the 
Evangelists with the Prophets as all inspired by the 
same Spirit*. In Hermias and Minnciiis Felix there ap- 
pears to be no reference at all to the Gospels, The 
usage of Tertidlian is very remarkable. In his other 
books he quotes the Gospels continually, and mentions 
each of the Evangelists by name, though his references 
to the writers of the Gospels are rare ; but in his Apo- 
logy, while he gives a general view of Christ's life and 
teaching, and speaks of the Scriptures as the food and 
the comfort of the Christian^, he nowhere cites the Gos- 
pels, and scarcely exhibits any coincidence of language 

^ Cf. Norton, Gemuneness of the 
Gospels, I. 137; Semisch, 83 ff. 

2 Orat. c. Gr. c. 30 ; Matt. xiii. 44. 
Cf. Fragg. i., ii. ; Matt. vi. 24, 19; 
xxii. 30. Orat. c. 5 ; John i. i : c 4 ; 
John iv. 24: c. 13; John i. 5: c. 19; 
John i. 3. 

3 Ap. p. 2 ; Matt. v. 39, 40 : p. 1 1 ; 
Matt.v.44, 45: p. 12; Matt. V. 46,47: 
p. 36; Matt. V. 28: ^/. p. 37; Mark 
X. 6, 11: Ap. p. 12; John xvii. 3. 

* Ad Autolycum, in. § 12, p. 124: 
^ri )U7jj' /cat Trepc hf.K(x.i.oaiv7\'i ^s 6 ;/6/ios 

etfJTfKCV aKSXovda €vpl<TK€Tai Kal rd. 
tQ)v irpocprjTQv Kal tQv evayyeXluv 
^Xf', 5id t6 tovs irdvras irvevixaro- 
(popovs evi TTPeijfiaTi 6eou \e\a\7jK4yai. 
if the commentaries attributed to 
him were genuine he wrote on the 
foztr Evangelists. 

Cf. ad Autol. III. p. 126; Matt. v. 
28, 32, 44, 46; vi. 3: id. II. p. 92 ; 
Luke xviii. 17: id. II. § 22, p. 100; 
John i. I, 3. 

^ Ap. cc. xxi. pp. 57 sqq. ; xxxix. 
P- 93. 




with them\ Clement of Alexandria, as is well known, 
investigated the relation of the Synoptic Gospels to St 
John, and his use of the words of Scripture is constant 
and extensive; and yet in his 'Exhortation to Gentiles,' 
while he quotes every Gospel, and all except St Mark 
repeatedly, he mentions St John alone by name, and 
that but once^. Cyprian in his address to Demetrian 
quotes words of our Lord as given by St Matthew and 
St John, but says nothing of the source from which 
he derived them'. The books of Origen against Celsus 
turned in a great measure on the criticism of the Gos- 
pels, for Celsus had diligently examined them to find 
objections to Christianity; and yet even there the com- 
mon custom prevails. In the first book for instance our 
Lord's words are quoted from the text of our Gospels 
more than a dozen times anonymously, and only once, 
so far as I have observed, with the mention of the Gos- 
pel in which they were to be found^ At a still later time 
Lactantiiis blamed Cyprian for quoting Scripture in a 
controversy with a heathen ^ and though he shews in 
his Institutions an intimate acquaintance with the writ- 
ings of the Evangelists he mentions only John by name, 
quoting the beginning of his Gospel^ Arnobins again 
makes no allusion to the Gospels ; and Ensebins, to 
whose zeal we owe most of what is known of the history 
of the New Testament, though he quotes the Gospels 
eighteen times in his ' Introduction to Christian Evi- 
dences' (Praeparatio Evangelica), yet always does so 

1 The only passage I have noticed quotes the Gospels of St John, St 

is c. xxxi. (Matt. v. 44). The same Luke and St Mark by name for facts, 

is true of the imperfect book oof iVa- cc. li., Ix., Ixii. ; and St Matthew 

Hones. three times as used by Celsus, cc. 

^ Protrep. § 59. xxxiv., xxxviii., xl. 

* Ad Demetr. c. i.; Matt. vii. 6: ^ Ins^it. v. 4. 

c. xxiv. ; John xvii. 3. ^ Instit. iv. 8. 

^ c. Ixiii.; Luke v. 8. He also . 



Chap. ii. 

The custom 
of anony- 
mous refer- 
ence even 
still more 

The case of 

fro7n the 

without naming the Evangelist of whose writings he 
makes use\ 

It would be easy to extend what has been said : — to 
shew that the words of ' the Apostle' are quoted scarcely 
less frequently than those of the Lord, without any more 
exact citation : — that this custom of indefinite reference 
is not confined to Apologetic writings, of which indeed 
it is peculiarly characteristic, but likewise traceable in 
many other cases : — that a habit which arose almost 
necessarily in an age of manuscript literature has not 
ceased even when the printing-press has left no mate- 
rial hindrances to occasion or excuse it ; but this would 
lead us away from our subject, and it must be suf- 
ficiently clear that if Justin differs in any way from 
other similar writers as to the mode in which he intro- 
duces his Evangelic quotations, it is because he has de- 
scribed with unusual care the sources from which he 
drew them. He is not less but more explicit than later 
Apologists as to the writings from which he derives his 
accounts of the Lord's life and teaching. 

Justin's method of quotation from the Old Testa- 
ment may seem at first sight to create a difficulty. It 
has been calculated that he makes 197 citations with 
exact references to their source, and 117 indefinitely. 
But under any circumstances this fact would affect the 
peculiar estimation, and not the historical reception, of 
the New Testament booksl And since the same phe- 
nomenon occurs in writers like Clement of Alexandria 
and Cyprian, whose views on the inspiration and autho- 

^ Are we to suppose that Eusebius be drawn from the fact that Justin 

' not only attached small importance mentions no author's name ? 

' to the [Memoirs] but also that he ^ j^ the Apostolic Fathers Scrip- 

' was actually ignorant of the author's tural quotations are almost univer- 

'name...,' the inference which, we sally anonymous. Cf. p. 52. 
are told {Stipernat.. Rel. i. 303), must 




rity of the New Testament were most definite and full, 
its explanation must be sought for on other principles. 
As far as Justin is concerned, the search leads to a satis- 
factory conclusion. His quotations are, I believe, ex- 
clusively prophecies ; and the purpose for which he intro- 
duces them required particularity of referenced The 
proof of Christianity, even for the heathen, was to be 
derived, as he tells us, from the fulfilment of prophecy^ 
The gift of foretelling the future— for already in his 
time this was the common view of a prophet's work — 
was a certain mark of a divine power ; and the antiquity 
of the Prophets invested them with a venerable dignity 
beyond all other poets or seers. To quote prophecy 
habitually without mentioning the Prophet's name would 
be to deprive it of half its value ; and if it seem strange 
that Justin does not quote Evangelists like Prophets, it 
is no less worthy of notice that he does quote by 
name the single prophetic book of the New Testament. 

* Moreover also among us a man named John, one of 

* the Apostles of Christ, prophesied in a revelation made 
' to him that those who have believed on our Christ shall 
'spend a thousand years in Jerusalem^..' This refer- 
ence to the Apocalypse appears to illustrate the dif- 
ference which Justin makes between his quotations from 
the Prophecies and the Gospels ; and it is sufficiently 
justified both by the usage of later writers and by the 
object which he had in view^ 

Chap. ii. 

^ e.g. Ap. I. 32 : Mwi/o-^s TrpQros 
tCjv TTpoiprjTQu yev6/JL€vos...Kal 'Haatas 
8^ d'XXos 7rpo(pr)Tr]s... 

2 Ap. I. 14 ; and 30: ttjv cLir68€i^i.v 
TJ8r} iroLTiabixtda ov toIs X^yovat tkt- 
revQvres 6\\a toTs Trpo(pr]Tevovat wplv 
fj yeveadai /car avayKtjv ireidofievoi... 

^ Dia/. c. 81 : koI Trap 
Tjfuv dv^p Tis (^ ovo/xa 'l(aa.vvrjs, eU 
tQv aTToaToXuv tov Xpiarov, iu clttO' 

Ka\v\peL yevo/xivrj aircp xtXta ^rrj Toir}- 
aeiu ev 'lepovaa\r)ix rovs Tip rjnier^pip 
j^piaT(^ TTcarevaauTas irpoe(f>T)Tev(ye... 
The constrained manner of this spe- 
cial reference in itself serves to ex- 
plain why Justin did not mention the 
Christian writers more frequently. 

^ It is very remarkable that Justin 
makes no allusion to our Lord's pro- 
phecy of the destruction of Jerusa- 

yustin re- 
fers to the 
of St John 
by name. 



Chap. ii. 

(2) The quo- 
ta tions 

Various de- 
grees of ac- 
curacy ifi 

The general 
character of 
from the 
Old Testa- 

From Justin's indefiniteness of reference we next pass 
to his inexactness of quotation. Though it sounds Hke a 
paradox, it is no less true, that up to a certain point 
familiarity with a book causes it to be quoted inaccu- 
rately. The memory is trusted where otherwise the 
text would be transcribed, and the error thus originated 
becomes perhaps a tradition. In addition to this dis- 
turbing influence, which must have been at least as 
powerful in Justin's time as in our own and as fruitful 
of mistakes, the accuracy of Scriptural quotations varied 
according to a natural law derived from their subject- 
matter. In history the facts of the narrative seem of 
the first importance : in ethics the sense and spirit of 
the precept : in prophecy and doctrine the precise words 
of the Divine lesson. Conformably with this general 
rule Justin like the other Fathers may be expected to 
relate the events of Christ's life often in his own words, 
combining, arranging, modifying, as the occasion may 
require : like them he may be expected to change but 
rarely the language of the Gospels in citing Christ's 
teaching, though he transpose words and clauses : like 
them too, we may be allowed to believe, he would have 
quoted the language of the New Testament with scru- 
pulous care in his polemical writings if they had been 
preserved to us. If this be a mere supposition, it must 
be remembered that we have no longer those books of his 
in which we might have expected to find critical accuracy. 

But at the same time it is to be noticed that Justin 
appears to be remarkable for freedom, not only in his use 
of classical authors \ but also in his treatment of the Old 
Testament, even in the Dialogue, in which it forms the 

lem. It is quoted in the Clementine detail, pp. 232 ff. Examples may 

Homilies {Horn. III. 15; Credner, I. be found, Ap. I. 3 (Plat. Resp. v. p. 

291). 473 d); Ap. ii. ro {Tim. p. 28 c); 

^ Semisch has examined them in Ap. 11. 11 (Xen. Alem. il. i). 




real basis of his argument. In these cases his quotations 
are confessedly taken from books, whether by memory or 
reference; and the original text can be compared with his 
version of it. Here at least we can determine the limits 
of accuracy within which he confined himself; and when 
they have been once fixed they will serve as a d^andard. 
No greater accuracy is to be expected anywhere '^ban in 
the use of the Prophecies ; and a few characteristic e ^ 
pies of his mode of dealing with them as well as with th^ 
other writings of the Old Testament will shew what kind 
of variations we must be prepared to find in any refer- 
ences which he may make to the Gospel-narrative\ 

The first and most striking phenomenon in his quota- 
tions is the combination of detached texts, sometimes 
taken from difi"erent parts of the same book, and some- 
times from different books. Thus when he is explaining 
the presence of the spirit of Elias in John the Baptist 
against Trypho's objection he says: 'Does it not seem to 
' you that the same transference was made in the case of 

* Joshua — when Moses was commanded to place his hands 
'on Joshua (Numb, xxvii. 18), when God said to him 
^ And I zvill impart to hhn of the Spirit that is i7i thee^^ f 
(c. xi. 17). So again when shewing that the Word is the 
Messenger (ayyeXo'i kol aTroaroXo^) of God he adds : 'And 
' moreover this will be made clear from the writings of 
' Moses. Now it is said in them thus : The Angel of the 
'Lord spake to Moses in a flame of fire out of the bush 
' and said: I am That I A^n (6 wV), the God of Abraham, 

* the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers. 
' Go down to Egypt and lead forth my people'^! Passages 

^ See note A at the end of the quotation. 

Section. ^ jip j g^. Exod. iii. 2, 14, 6, 10. 

2 Dial. c. 49. The passage Numb. * These free quotations are adapted 

xi. 17 refers to the seventy elders, 'to the wants of heathen readers' 

Credner appears to have omitted this (Credner, 11. 58). By a reasonable 

Chap. it. 

(a) Combina' 
Hon of dif- 
ferent texts. 

In the 

In the 



of different writers are combined even when the citation 
is made expressly from one. ' For Jeremiah cries thus/ we 
read, ' Woe to you, because ye foi'sook a living fount ai7t^ 
' and digged for yourselves broken cisterns which will not be 
'able to hold water (Jerem. ii. 13). Shall there be a wil- 
' derness [ivithout water'] where the Mount Sio?i is (Isai. xvi. 
' I, LXX.), because I gave to Jerusalem a bill of divorce in 
' your sigh t'^ f (Jerem. iii. 8). The intertexture of various 
passages is sometimes still more complicated. 'What then 
' the people of the Jews will say and do when they see 
' Christ's advent in glory has been thus told in prophecy 
' by Zacharias : / will charge the four wiizds to gathe^ 
' together my children who have been scattered^ I will 
' charge the north wind to bring, and the south wind not 
'to hinder (cf. Zech. ii. 6; Isai. xliii. 5). And then shall 
' there be in JeriLsalem a great lamentation, 7iot a lamen- 
tation of mouths and lips, but a lainentatio7t of heart 
'(Zech. xii. 11), and tJiey shall not rend their garments, 
* but their minds (Joel ii. 13). They shall lament tribe to 
'tribe (Zech. xii. 12); and then they shall look on him 
' whom they pierced {ZQch..x.n. 10), and say; Why, O Lord, 
' didst thou make us to err fropi Thy way f (Isai. Ixiii. 17). 
' The glory which our fathers blessed is turned to our re- 
' proacJi^' (Isai. Ixiv. 11). 

The same cause which led Justin to combine various 
texts in other places led him to compress, to individualize, 

adaptation these words become: 
'These free quotations [from the 
' Gospels] are adapted to the wants 
'of Jewish [or heathen] readers.' 

^ Dial. c. 114. Credner (li. -246) 
remarks that Barnabas (c. xi.) con- 
nects the two former passages toge- 
ther; yet his text is wholly different 
from that of Justin. Cf. Semisch, 
262 anm. 

2 Ap. I. 52. The clause orj/ovrai 

els ov e^eKivTTiaav is quoted in the* 
Dialogtie (c. 1 4) as from Hosea^ oi/'e- 
Tai 6 Xaos vfi(ai' Kai yvwpiet eis 6v i^e- 
K^vTTjaau. The reading in the LXX. 
is iTn^X^xpovTai irpbs fie dvd' uv Ka- 
TbjpxwavTo, which arose from a dou- 
ble interchange of the Hebrew letters 
1 n. The rendering which Justin 
gives occurs in John xix. 37, and also 
in Apoc. i. 7. Cf. Credner, pp. 293 




to adapt, the exact words of Scripture for the better ex- 
pression of his meaning ; and at times he may appear to 
misuse the passages which he quotes. The extent to 
which this Hcence is carried will appear from the following 

In speaking of the duty of proclaiming the truth 
which we know, and of the judgment which will fall on 
those who know and tell it not, he quotes the declaration 
of God by Ezechiel : ^ I have placed thee as a watchman to 
' the house of Jiidah. Should the si7t?ter sin, and thou not 

* testify to him, he indeed shall perish for his sin, but from 
'thee will I require his blood ; but if thou testify to him, 
^ thou shalt be blameless' (Ezech. iii. 17 — 19). In this 
quotation only two phrases of the original text remain ; 
but the remainder expresses the sense of the Prophet with 
conciseness and forced Again, when referring to Plato's 
idea of the cruciform distribution of the principle of life 
through the universe^, he says, 'This likewise he borrowed 
' from Moses ; for in the writings of Moses it is recorded 

* that at that point of time when the Israelites came out 
' of Egypt and were in the wilderness venomous beasts 
' encountered them, vipers and asps and serpents of all 
' kinds, which killed the people ; and that by inspiration 
' and impulse of God Moses took brass and made an image 
'of a cross and set this on (eV/, dat.) the holy tabernacle, 
' and said to the people : Shoidd yoii look on this image 
' a7td believe in it, you shall be saved. And he has recorded 

* that when this was done the serpents died, and so the 
'people escaped death*' (Numb. xxi. 8, 9, sqq.). Thede- 

^ Dial. c. 82. tion of the passage is characteristic: 

^ PL Tim. p. 36 b: TavTTjv ovv rrjv 'Ex/ao-eii' avrdu [sc. top vibv toO deovj 

^vcrracriv irdcrav diTrXiju Kara fiTjKos ev t(^ iravrL 

o'x^o'as, fiicrr]v irpbs fi^arjv iKar^pav ^ Ap. I. 6o. From the compari- 

aXXriXais olov (x) irpoa^aXcou /car^- son of John iii. 15, I prefer to put 

Ka/xxpev els kvkXov... Justin's quota- the stop after iv aurcp. Credner 




tails of the fabrication of a cross rather than of a serpent, 
of the erection of the Hfe-giving symbol on the tabernacle 
— that type of the outward world, of the address of Moses 
to the people, are due entirely to Justin's interpretation of 
the narrative. He gave what he thought to be the spirit 
and meaning of the passage, and in so doing has not pre- 
served one significant word of the original text. 

In many cases it is possible to explain these peculiari- 
ties of Justin's quotations by supposing that he intention- 
ally deviated from the common text in order to bring out 
its meaning more clearly : in others he may have followed 
a traditional rendering or accommodation of scriptural 
language, such as are current at all times ; but after every 
allowance has been made, a large residue of passages 
remains from which it is evident that the variations often 
spring from errors of memory. He quotes, for instance, 
the same passage in various forms ; and that not only in 
different books, but even in the same book, and at short 
intervals. He ascribes texts to wrong authors; and that 
in the Dialogue as well as in the Apology, even when he 
shews in other places that he is not ignorant of their true 
source\ And once more: the variations are most remark- 
able and frequent in short passages : that is exactly in 
those for which it would seem superfluous to unroll the 
MS. and refer to the original text^ 

If then it be sufficiently made out that Justin dealt in 

(p. 28) omits kv apparently by mis- 
take. It will be observed that in the 
quotation each chief word is changed: 
irpoa^X^TreLv is substituted for im- 
/SX^Treij', (xd}^€(rdaL for ^rjp, and 7rt(r- 
reveiv is introduced as the condition 
of healing. These changes are also 
preserved in a general way in the 
second allusion to the passage, BiaL 
c. 94, which otherwise approaches 
more nearly to the LXX. 

1 In the Apology-: Zephaniah for 

Zechariah (c. 35) ; Jeremiah for Da- 
niel (c. 51); Isaiah for Jeremiah (c. 
53). In the Dialogue: Jeremiah for 
Isaiah (c. 12); Hosea for Zechariah 
(c. 14) ; Zechariah for Malachi (c. 49). 
The first passage (Zech. ix. 9) is 
rightly quoted in Dial. c. 53 ; the 
next (Dan. vii. 13) rightly alluded to 
in Dial. c. 76. Cf. Semisch, 2^0 anm. 
2 See note B at the end of the 




this manner with the Old Testament, which was sanctioned 
in each jot and tittle by the authority of Christ himself, 
which was already inwrought into the Christian dialect by 
long and habitual use, which was familiarized to the 
Christian disputant by continual and minute controversy: 
— can it be expected that he should use the text of the 
Gospels with more scrupulous care? that he should in 
every case refer to his manuscript to ascertain the exact 
words of the record? that he should preserve them free 
from traditional details? that he should keep distinctly 
separate cognate accounts of the same event, complemen- 
tary narratives of the same discourse ? If he combined 
the words of Prophets to convey to the heathen a fuller 
notion of their divine wisdom, and often contented himself 
with the sense of Scripture even when he argued with a 
Jew, can it be a matter of surprise that to heathen and to 
Jews alike he sets forth rather the substance than the 
letter of those Christian writings which had for them no 
individual authority? In proportion as the idea of a New 
Testament Canon was less clear in his time, or at least 
less familiarly realized by ancient usage, than that of the 
Old Testament; in proportion as the Apostolic writings 
were invested with less objective worth for those whom he 
addressed; we may expect to find his quotations from 
the Evangelists more vague and imperfect and inaccurate 
than those from the Prophets. So far as it is not so, the 
fact implies that personal study had supplied the place 
of traditional knowledge, that what was wanting to the 
Christian Scriptures in the clearness of defined authority 
was made up by the sense of their individual value. 

It has been said that Justin's quotations are fre- 
quently made from memory \ This appears to be an 

^ The hypothesis that Justin so he did what any one in a similar posi- 
quoted, is simply the supposition that tion would do still. He was steeped 




inevitable conclusion from the fact, that where he quotes 
a saying twice the quotations for the most part present 
differences greater or less. Such differences would have 
been impossible if in each case he had referred to his 
' written Gospel' The examples of repeated quotations 
which I have noticed are the following: 

Apol 15. 
But be ye Jcind and pitiful 

(Xpr](rTo\ KOi oiKTipfxoves) 
as also your Father 
i's kind and pitiful^ 

and He maketli His sun to rise 
upon sinners and just men and 

Dial. 96. 
Be ye kind and pitiful {xPW'^^'- 

KOI OlKTippLOVes) 

as also your keavenly Father. 
For we see the Almighty God 

kind and pitiful, 
making His sun to rise upon 

tinthankftd men and just, 
and raining upon holy men and 


The addition of ^(^prjarof;, wliich is not found in our 
texts, in both passages points to a various reading. 

Apol. 15. 
Pray for yotir enemies {twv ixO. 

and love those that hate you, 
and bless those that curse you, 
and pray for those that despite- 

fuily use you. 

Dial. 133. 
to pray even for enemies (rwj/ 

and to love those that hate, 
and to bless those that curse. 

Here the coincidences of pray for for love, and of 
love for do good to, mark a different form (perhaps oral) 
of the precept from that found in our text. Compare 
pp. 142 f. 

in the words of the Lord gathered is filled. No one, I imagine, sup- 

from the Gospels and he brought poses that Justin picked out phrases 

them together as they rose before from his MS. any more than we 

him in a connexion harmonious with ourselves pick out phrases from our 

his purpose. The aim of the Mis- printed Bibles when we link passage 

sionary or the Preacher is to con- with passage, 
vey the effect of that with which he 



ApoL 1 6. 

Dial. 1 01. 

Chap. ii. 

When one came to him 

When one said to him, 

and said, 

Good Master, He answered 

Good Master, He answered, 


No one is good 

Why callest thou me good? 

except 07tly God 

One is good^ my Father 

who made all things. 

which is in heaven. 

The difference here is complete. 

Apol. 1 6. 

Dial. 76. 

But many shall say to me, 

Many shall say to me in that day, 

Lord, Lord, did we not in Thy 

Lord, Lord, did we not in Thy 



eat and drink and do mighty 

eat and drink and prophesy and 


cast out devils? 

And then I will say to them. 

And I will say to them, 

Depart from me 

Depart from me. 

Ye workers of iniquity. 

Here again the differences are remarkable. 

Apol. 1 6. 

Apol. 62. 

Whoso heareth me 

He that heareth me 

and doeth what I say 

heareth Him that sent me. 

heareth Him that sent me. 

Apol. 1 6. 

Dial. 35. 

For many shall come (rj^ovai) 

Many shall come {(Xeva-ovrai) 

in my name 

in m.y name 

clothed without indeed in sheep- 

clothed without in sheep-skins, 


but deing inwardly ravening 

but inwardly they are ravening 



The coincidence of hepixara irpo^aTwv (sheep-skins) 

is remarkable and perhaps points to a distinct reading. 

Yet compare p. 141. 




Apol. 63. 
No man knoweth {eypa) 

the Father, save the Son; 
nor the Son, save the Father 
and they to whom the Son 
reveals Him. 

Compare p. 134 n. 

Dial. 17. 
whited sepulchres, 
appearing fair without 
du^ full within of dead men's 

Dial. icx). 
No man cometh to know {^iv^- 

the Father, save the Son ; 
nor the Son, save the Father 
and they to whom the Son 
reveals Him. 

Dial. 112. 
whited sepulchres, 
appearing fair without 
and full within of dead men' 

Vial. 76 (cf. c. 51). 
The Son of Man must suffer 
many things and be rejected 
dy the Scribes and Pharisees^ 
and be crucified and on the 
third day rise again. 

The insertion of ^the Pharisees^ must be noticed 
See p. 141. 

Dial. 100. 
The Son of Man must Suffer 
many things and be rejected 
by the Pharisees and Scribes, 
and be crucified and on the 
third day rise again. 

Dial. 49. Dial. 88. 

But He that is stronger than I For He that is stronger than I 

shall come {y\^ii)^ whose sandals shall come (^^fi), whose sandals 

I am not worthy to bear. I am not worthy to bear. 

The occurrence of '-q^ei in both places seems to mark 
a true various reading. Compare pp. 143 fif. 

A careful consideration of these crucial passages 
will, I believe, establish two conclusions which explain all 
the phenomena offered by Justin's quotations: the first is, 
that he quoted (often, at least,) from memory, and the 
second, that his Evangelic texts had several readings (like 
those of D, for example,) of which there are either few 
or no traces elsewhere. 




To examine in detail the whole of Justin's quotations 
would be tedious and unnecessary. It will be enough to 
examine (i) those which are alleged by him as quotations, 
and those also which though anonymous are yet found re- 
peated with the same variations either (2) in Justin's own 
writings or (3) in heretical books. It is evidently on 
these quotations that the decision hangs. If they be 
naturally reconcilable with Justin's use of the Canonical 
Gospels, the partial inaccuracy of the remainder can be 
of little moment. But if they be clearly derived from 
uncanonical sources, the general coincidence of the mass 
with our Gospels only shews that there was a wide uni- 
formity in the Evangelic tradition. 

In seven passages only, as far as I can discover^, 
does Justin distinctly quote the Memoirs {^k<^pai;TTai)\ and 
in these passages, if anywhere, it is natural to expect 
that he will preserve the exact language of one of the 
Gospels which he used, just as in anonymous quotations 
we may conclude that he gives the substance of the com- 
mon narrative^ The result of a first view of these pas- 

^ Ap. I. 66 (Luke xxii. 19, 20) and 
Dial. c. 103 (Luke xxii. 42 — 44) (cf. 
Matt. xxvi. 28) are not properly quota- 
tions of words, but concise narra- 
tives. The first runs as follows: ol 
7ap airbaToXoi ev rots yevo/xevoLS vir 
avrCov a.TrofxuTjfxoi'evjj.acrtv, d KaXe^rai, 
evayyiXia, ovtujs rrapedojKav evTerakdaL 
avToTs' Tov 'Irjcrouu Xo/Soira dprou evxa- 
piffTTjaavTa eliretv ToOro Troteire et's 
TTiv dvd/JLVTjaiv fiov Kal rb tror-qpLov 
6fioi(i}s Xa^ovra Kal €vx<^pi-<yTri(xavTa 
elirelv'TovTO e<XTi to aXixd fxov Kaifxovots 
airoh /xeradovvai. The reference, it 
will be observed, is to * the Gospels ' 
(plural) and to 'the Apostles,' and 
the account is oblique. No more is 
told than is sufficient to establish the 
parallel with the Mithraic mysteries 
which he draws. The marvel is, not 
that Justin should have compressed 

the record, but that he should have 
told so much of a sacrament which 
was carefully kept from public know- 
ledge. Comp. Dia/. 70. 

The second passage has been al- 
ready noticed p. T15, n. i. 

Differences in detail supposed to 
have been derived by Justin from 
the Memoirs will be examined in the 
next division (3). 

^ The general moral teaching of 
the Lord which is epitomised in Ap. 
I. 15 — 17 is introduced by the follow- 
ing phrases toctovtov elirev — ravra 
e5i5a^eu — ravra ^(prj — ovrws TrapeKC- 
XeOaaro — ws 6 Xpiaros ifi-qwaev 
eliTibv — I venture to think that few 
will admit that words so introduced 
in the connexion in which they stand 
are " professedly literal quotations" 
from written documents [Supernat. 

K 2 

Chap. iL 

How far 
from thg 
need be 

(a) Express 
front the 



Chap. ii. 

Their agree- 
nte?it ■with 
the Gospel 

sages is striking. Of the seven five agree verbally with 
the text of St Matthew or St Luke, exhibiting indeed 
three slight various readings not elsewhere found, but 
such as are easily explicable^: the sixth is a compressed 

Rel. I. pp. 375 ff.)- The same gene- 
ral forms of reference {elpTjKet., ^d)rj, 
idida^e, i^6a) are used in all cases 
(I believe) except those quoted in 
these paragraphs (a). 

^ The passages are these :■ 
I. Dial. c. 103 : ovro-i 6 Sta/SoXos 
...ev TOLS airoixvqfxoveOiiaai:- tQiv diro- 
arSXcov yiypairraL TrpoaeKdwi' aurtp 
Kal TreLpd^ojv /j.^xP'- '''^^ ehretv aiT(p 
IlpoaKvv7}a6v fioi' Kai diroKpivaadaL 
ai>T(f rhv XpLffTdp' "T-n-aye 6tI<to} 
fjLov caTavd' K^piov rhv debv 
aov irpo<jKVVT}(T€i.s Kal avTii) fjt.6vciy 
Xar p €{> a € I s = Matt. iv. 10. The 
addition ^ttiVw p-ov is supported by 
fairly good authority, though proba- 
bly it is only a very early interpola- 
tion, as early as the time of Justin, 
like other readings of D Syr. Vt. and 
Lat. Vt. The form of the quotation 
explains the omission of yiypa-nrai 
yap, which Justin indeed elsewhere 
recognizes, c. 125: diroKpiveTat. yap 
dvT({}' TiypaTTTai' Kvpiov rbv debv 


In the Clementine Homilies the 
answer assumes an entirely different 
complexion [Horn. viii. 21): diroKpi- 
vd,a€vos ovv ?07/" V^ypaTTTai.' KOpLOP 
Tov Qeov aov (po^rjdi^cry Kal avT(^ 
XarpeiJcreis [xbvov. 

2. Dial. c. 105 : roOra elprjK^pat 
ev rots aTTOfivrjfiovevfjLacn y^ypairrai' 
"Edv /ATj TrepKrae^iarj vfiQu i) di- 
Kaioa^vrj irXeiov tQv ypapLjxa- 
rifjjv Kal ^aptaaicjv, ov /ult) eltr- 
^XdrjTe et's t-^v ^aal\et,av twp 
ovpavu}p = Msitt. y. 20. The trans- 
position vfioiv 7} 81K. is certainly cor- 
rect. For Clement's variations in 
quoting this verse see Griesbach, 
Syfnd. Crit. II. 251. 

3. Dial. c. 107 : ykypainai iv 
Tois dirojuii'rjuovevfj.aaiv on oi dirb rod 
y4vovs v/xuv (rv^7)TovvT€S avT^ IXeyov 
oTi Aei^ov rjfuv o'Tjfieiov. Kal dwe- 

Kpivaro avToTs' Teved vovrjpd Kal 
/xoixaXts <rT]fi€?ov ixii^rjTeL, Kal 
a7]fJt,€iov ov dodrjaerai avrdis el 
fXT] t6 arjfxeXov 'Icoj/a^Matt. xii. 
[38], 39. The first part, as its form 
shews, is quoted freely; our Lord's 
answer differs from the text of St 
Matthew only in reading avrols for 
avT-^. Siich a confusion of relatives 
with an antecedent like 7e;/e(x is very 
common. Cf. Luke x. 13 (Kadrjfievoi 
-ai) ; Actsii. 3 {eKddLaev -av). Winer, 
N. T. Gramm. § 58. 4. b, p. 458 (ed. 6). 
4. Dial. c. 49 : 6 rjfi^Tepos Xpt- 
crr6s €lpr)K€i...^'ilXias ixkv eXevcrerai 
Kal aTTOKaracrTriaei irdvTa' Xk- 
yia bk v/xTv on 'HXLas rjbr] ■^Xde, 
Kal ovK iiriyvdjaa V avrbv dXX' 
eTToLrjffav avT($ baa rjdiXriaav' 
Kal yiypairrai on rbre (rvvTJKav 
ol fiadrjTal on trepl 'Iwdvvov 
TOV ^aiTTiffTov elwev avToTi = 
Matt. xvii. 11— 13. The express 
quotation (ver. 13) agrees exactly 
with the text of St Matthew, and 
Credner admits that it must have 
been taken from his Gospel (p. 237). 
In the other part the text of St Mat- 
thew has ^px^rai {-rrpQiTov is certainly 
spurious), and iv avn^, but the pre- 
position is omitted by &< D F U &^c., 
see however Mark ix. 13. Credner 
insists (p. 219) on the variation ^XeiJ- 
ceadai (repeated again in the same 
chapter) ; with how much justice the 
various readings in Luke xxiii, 29 may 
shew. See also Gen. xviii. 14: dva- 
(TTpi(f>u} {Dial. c. 56) ; diroaTpexl/o} 
{Dial. c. 126); dva(XTpi\l/u} (LXX.). 
Cf. p. 140, and the next note. [This 
passage is inserted with some doubt 
on account of the use of 7^7/3a7rrai,] 
5. Dial. c. 105: Kal yap dirobi.- 
boiis rb TTvevfia iirl rip aravpOi ttire' 
UaTTjp eis %etpds <tov -jraparl- 
6e/xai rb irvevfxd fioV ws Kal e/c 
Tu)v dTro/J.vr]/j.ov€v/xdTuv Kal toOto ?/*a- 




summary of words related by St Matthew : the seventh 
alone presents an important variation in the text of a 
verse, which is however otherwise very uncertain. Our 
inquiry is thus confined to the last two instances; and 
it must be seen whether their disagreement from the 
Synoptic Gospels is such as to outweigh the agreement 
of the remaining five. 

The first passage occurs in the account which Justin 
gives of the Crucifixion as illustrating the prophecy in 
Psalm xxi.: 'Those who looked on (Christ as He hung 
'on the Cross shook their heads and pointed with their 
Mips and sneering said in mockery these things which 
'are also written in the Memoirs of His Apostles: He 
' called Himself the Son of God ; let Him come down and 
'walk ; let God save Him^.' These exact words do not 
occur in our Gospels. In St Matthew the taunts are : 
Thou that destroy est the Temple and bidldest it in three 
days, save Thyself : if Thoti art the Son of God, come 
down from the Cross. ..He saved others: Himself He 
cannot save. He is the King of Israel: let Him now 
come down from the Cross and we will believe on Him. 
He trusted on God: let Him deliver Him now if He zvill 
have Him; for He said, I ain the Son of God. St Mark 
gives a slight variation of one phrase : Let the CJirist, the 
King of Israel, come down from the Cross, that we may see 
and believe. . St Luke's quotation is shorter: He saved 

60V = Luke xxiii. 46. The quotation 
is verbally correct : irapaTldefiai, not 
irapadTjo-o/iiai, is certainly the right 

1 Dial. c. loi : 01 decopovure^ av- 
rhv iaravpoj/x^vov Kai K€(f>a\as '^Kaaros 
edvovv KoX TO. x^'M diiarpetpov 
Kal Tots fxv^ojTrjpcnu iu dX\r)\oi$f 5c€- 
pivovvres f ^Xeyov dpuivevbfievoL ravra 
a Kal iv Tois airoiiv-qfiovevixacri tQiv 
dirocTTdXoJV avTOV yiy pawTai. Tlbp 
deov eavrbv ^\eye, /carajSds Trepiira- 

TeiTb)' (TcoadTO} avTov b 0c6s. The 
account in the Apology (i. 38) appears 
to prove that Justin gives only the 
substance of the Evangelic account: 
XraupcodipTos yap avrov e^^crrpecpov 
TO, x^'-^V '^"^ iKLvovv ras K€<pa\as \4- 
yovres' '0 veKpoiis dvaydpas pvcrdado} 
eavTou. It is strange that in the quo- 
tation from the Psalm in Dial. I. c. 
the words o-axraro) avrbv are omitted, 
though they are given in c. 98. 



Chap. ii. 

Matt. xi. 27. 
l.uke X. 22. 

others; let Him save Himself, if this is the Christ of God, 
the Chosen. The peculiarity of Justin's phrase Hes in the 
word '[let Him] walk^! No Manuscript or Father (so 
far as we know) has preserved any reading of the passage 
with this peculiarity; and if it appear that Justin's quo- 
tation is not deducible from our Gospels, due allowance 
being made for the object which he had in view, that is, 
to give a summary account of the record of the Evangelic 
narratives, its source must remain concealed. 

The remaining passage is more remarkable. While 
interpreting the same Psalm xxi. Justin speaks of Christ 
as dwelling in the holy place, as the praise of Israel, to 
whom the mysterious blessings pronounced in old times 
to the Patriarchs belonged ; and then he adds : * Yea 
'and it is written in the Gospel that he said : All things 
'have been delivered to me by the Father; and no man 
' knoweth the Father except the Son, nor the Son except the 
'Father, and those to whomsoever the Son shall reveal 
* \the Father and Himself^ ^' The last clause occurs 
again twice in the Apology, with the single variation 
that the verb is an aorist {eyvco) and not a present 

There are here three various readings to be noticed. 

1 It must be remarked that this 
word is not found in A^. i. 38 where 
the taunt is said to be (ws fxaOeiu 
dvvaade) '0 veKpoiis dvayeipas pvadadoj 
eavTQV. Nothing, I think, could 
shew more clearly that Justin pur- 
poses to give only the substance of 
the narrative which he quotes. 

^ Dial. c. 100: Kol ev rep evayye- 
Xlcp d^ yiypairrai diroov [6 X/)i(rT6s'] 
TldpTa ixoi Trapa5e8oTai vto tov ira- 
rpor Kol ovbels yivuaKei tov Trarepa 
el pLT] 6 vios' ovd^ tov vibv el fiij 6 ira- 
Tr)p KOL oh dv 6 vlbs dTroKokd-^rj. The 
last word d7roKa\v\p7j, as it has no 
immediate object, is I believe equi- 

valent to * makes a revelation, ' i.e. of 
His own nature and of the nature 
of the Father. So I find Augustine 
takes the passage: Qticest. Evv. i. 1. 
^ Ap.\. 63 (bis). Credner (i. 248 
ff.) insists on the appearance of this 
reading iyvu}, as if it were a mark of 
the influence of Gnostic documents 
on Justin's narrative. It is a suffi- 
cient answer that the reading is not 
only found in Marcion and the Cle- 
mentines, but also repeatedly in 
Clement of Alexandria and Origen 
(Griesb. Symb. Crit. II. ■271). Cf. 
Semisch, p. 367. 




* All things have been delivered to me (jrapaBiBoTaiy for 
^ all things were (aor.) delivered to me {irapehoOr])' — the 
transposition of the words Father and Son — the phrase 
' those to whomsoever the Son shall reveal \Hini\ ' for * he 
'to whomsoever the Son shall please to \^ov\'r]Tai\ reveal 
' [Hint] '. Of these the first is not found in any authority 
in the text of St Matthew, but it occurs in a few copies 
of St Luke and is a common variation^; and the last is 
supported by Clement, Origen, and other Fathers, so 
that it cannot prove anything against Justin's use of the 
Canonical Gospels^, while Justin himself in another place 
uses the present. 

The transposition of the words still remains ; and 
how little weight can be attached to that will appear 
upon an examination of the various forms in which the 
text is quoted by Fathers like Origen, Irenseus, and 
Epiphanius, who admitted our Gospels exclusively. It 
occurs in them, as will be seen from the table of read- 
ings, with almost every possible variation ^ Irenseus in 

1 Cf. John vii. 39 : dedo/xiuov, do6iv. Abbot, /. c. pp. 92 f. 

2 Cf. Griesbach, Symb. Crit. I. c. 

* The extent of the varieties of reading found in early orthodox authorities 
independent of Justin is shewn in the following scheme : 

St Matt. xi. 27 ouSets eirvyivihcKei rhv vibv el fir] 6 Trarrjp oiSk rbv Traripa ris (l) 
Clem. S^rom. I. % I 'jS „ Syvu „ ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, om. {2) 
Orig. c. Cels. vi. 17 „ „ „ ,, „ „ „ „ onu (3] 

Orig. r. Cels. VII,. 44 ,, ,, ,, xarepa ,, vlbs om. om. om. om. (4 

Clem. .SVr^;«.V. §85 [ouSeis] TOJ' Trar^pa ^Y^w ,, ,, om. om. om. om. {t^ 
Orig. in yoh. I. § 42 ovheh ^yvu rbv irar^pa ,, ,, 

m y^?/^. XXXII. 18 ,, ,, ,, Vibv „ iraT-fip 

(i) iiriyivooGKei el /mt] 6 mo? Kal y iav ^ovXrjTaL 6 vibi a.TroKa\uipaL 

(2) om. „ ,, ,, ,, av 0771. ,, diroKakii^xi 

(3) 0^^^- »» j» »» >» »' ^^'- »» »> »» 

(4) 0771, 0771. 0771. 0771. om. ,, ,, Om, ,, ,, ,, 

(5) 0771. ,, ,, om. ,, ,, ,, 

Compare also Clem. Fad. I. § 20 ; S^ro77Z. Vii. § 58. Orig. z'n Joh. xill. 

§ 25 ; XIX. § I. From this evidence it is impossible not to believe that 
i^yvb) was found in some early MSS. of the Gospels. 

Credner (i. p. 249) quotes from Irenaeus (iv. 6. i) 'et cui revelare Pater 
voluerit,' but I can find no authority for such a reading. The mistake at 
least shews how easy it is to misquote such a text. 



the course of one chapter quotes the verse first as it 
stands in the Canonical text ; then in the same order, 
but with the last clause like Justin's ; and once again 
altogether as he has given it, with the present [tyivwa-KeL, 
cognoscitY) and in another place he gives the first clause 
as Justin with a 'past' {eypco, cogitovity. Epiphanius 
likewise quotes the text seven times in the same order as 
Justin, and four times as it stands in the Gospels ^ If 
indeed Justin's quotations were made from memory, no 
transposition could be more natural ; and if we suppose 
that he copied the passage directly from a Manuscript, 
there is no difficulty in believing that he may have found 
it so written in a Manuscript of the Canonical St Matthew, 
since the variation is excluded by no internal improba- 
bility, while it is found elsewhere, and its origin is easily 

1 Iren. iv. 6. i Nemo cognoscit filium nisi pater neque patrem quis (i) 


om. (2) 
filium om. (3) 

, „ 0771. (4) 

voluerit filius revelare 

IV. 6. 7 

• IV. 6. 3 „ „ patrem 

Heretics ap. Iren. /.<r. „ cognovit „ 

Iren. Ii. 14. „ „ „ 

Tertull. c. Marc. Ii. 27 „ ,, 

c. Marc. iv. 25 scit ,, 

(i) cognoscit nisi filius et cui 

(2) 0771. ,, ,, „ quibuscunque otti. 

(3) OTTi. ,, pater „ .,, or7i. ,, „ 

(4) 0771. ,, ,, „ cui 0771. „ „ 

Compare note 4, below. 

This variation is the more remarkable II. 2. 43 (p. 766 c) ; li. r. 4 (p. 466 b). 

since in iv. 6. i, Irenaeus attributes * Semisch has w^ell remarked (p. 

the reading of Justin to those qui 366) that the vi^ord irarpbs immedi- 

peritiores Apostolis volunt esse. ately preceding may have led to the 

2 Iren. ii. 14. 7 : I can see nothing in transposition, 

.this passage to indicate that Irenasus To avoid repetition it may be well 

is using a reading which he rejects, to give the passage as it stands in 

So far is nomf {cognovit) from being various heretical books, that Justin's 

of a heretical stamp, that novit is independence of them may be at once 

the reading of the Old and Vulgate evident. 

Latin, a few copies of the former (a) Marcion {Dial. ap. Oi^ig. § i, 

only reading cognoscit [agnoscit). Au- p. 283) : ovdds ^yvu rbv irar^pa el firj 

gustine has both readings {cognoscit, 6 vlos, ov8^ rbv vlov tls yivuxTK^L ei [xri 

novit). biraT7]p. The reading of the Marcion- 

^ Semisch, p. 369. e.g. c. Hcsr. ite interlocutor is apparently accept- 




If the direct quotations which Justin makes from the 
Apostolic Memoirs supply no adequate proof that he 
used any books different from our Canonical Gospels, it 
remains to be seen whether there be anything in the 
character of his indefinite references to the substance of 
the Gospels which leads to such a conclusion : whether 
there be any stereotyped variations in his narrative which 
point to a written source ; and any crucial coincidences 
with other documents which shew in what direction we 
must look for it. 

It has been remarked already that a false quotation 
may become a tradition. Much more is it likely to re- 
appear from association in a writer to whom it has once 
occurred by accident, or been suggested by peculiar in- 
fluences. It must be shewn that there is something in 
the variation in the first instance which excludes the 
belief that it is merely a natural error, before any stress 
can be laid upon the fact of its repetition, which within 
certain limits is even to be expected. Erroneous read- 
ings continually recur in the works of Fathers who have 
preserved the true text in other passages where for some 

ed in the argument. Directly after- 
wards however the words are given : 
ou3ets yivdo(TK€t rbv vlbv d fxri 6 Trarrjp, 
and ovdels oXde rbv vlov. These varia- 
tions are found, it is to be remem- 
bered, in an argument between Chris- 

(/3) Clementines, Horn. xvii. 4: 
ovSeis ^yv<j3 Tov irarepa el /j.r] 6 vi6s, 
(hs oiid^ rbv vlbv ris oldev [el8cu, Cred.?] 
ei /XT] 6 Trarrjp Kal oh av ^o^XrjTat 
[^oOXerai, Cred., CoteL] 6 vibs diro- 
KoXv^pat. The text is repeated in the 
same words, Horn, xv ill. 4, 13, 20 
(part). The difference of Justin's 
reading from this is clear and strik- 
ing. Cf Recogn. II. 47. 

(7) The Marcosians, Iren. i. 20. 
3 ; ou5ets ^71^0; rbv trar^pa el /xtj 6 vlbs, 
Kal rbv vlbv el [xij 6 irar-qp Kal ^ av b 

vlbs airoKa\v\pri. Irenaeus does not 
criticize the reading. This differs 
from Justin's by Kal (for ovbk) and (J 
(for oh). In the context Trapedodrj 
stands for Justin's napadedorai.. 

The case appears to me to be 
quite simple, and to call for no 
argument. Origen (to take one ex- 
ample) unquestionably used our Ca- 
nonical Gospels as alone of authority ; 
yet he several times agrees with 
Justin both (i) as to order and (2) 
as to the tense ^yvu. Either then 
he found the reading which he 
quoted in manuscripts of St Mat- 
thew, or made an error of memory. 
What he did Justin may have done 
also. It must be remembered also 
that Justin reads yiv(JbaKei, in the one 
express quotation which he makes. 



reason or other there seemed to be especial need for 
accuracy \ Justin himself has reproduced passages of 
the LXX. with persistent variations, of which no traces 
can be elsewhere found I Unless then it can be made 
out that the recurrent readings in which he differs from 
the text of the Evangelists, whom he did not profess to 
quote, are more striking or more numerous than those 
found in the other Fathers, and in his own quotations 
from the Old Testament, the fact that there are corre- 
sponding variations in both cases serves only to shew 
that he treated the Gospels as they did, or as he himself 
treated the Prophets, and not that he was either unac- 
quainted with their existence or ignorant of their pecu- 
liar claims. 

The real nature of the various readings of Justin*s 
quotations will appear more clearly by a comparison 
with those found at present in Manuscripts of the New 
Testament. Errors of quotation often find a parallel in 
errors of copying ; and even where they differ in extent 
they frequently coincide in principle. If we exclude 
mistakes in writing, differences in inflexion and ortho- 
graphy, adaptations for ecclesiastical reading, and in- 
tentional corrections, the remaining various readings in 
the Gospels may be divided generally into synonymous 
words and phrases, transpositions, marginal glosses, and 
combinations of parallel passages^ This classification 
will serve exactly for the recurrent variations in Justin \ 

^ See Semisch, pp. 330 sqq. Any 
critical commentary to the New 
Testament will furnish a crowd of 
instances. I intended to give a 
collection from Griesbach's SymbolcB 
CriticcE — only from Clement and Ori- 
gen — but it proved too bulky. 

2 e.g. Isai. xlii. 6 sq. Credner, 
Beitrdge, ii. pp. 165, 213 sqq. 

2 This classification is given by 

Schulz in his. third edition of the first 
volume of Griesbach's New Testa- 
ment, pp. xxxviii. sqq. He has illus- 
trated each class by a series of exam- 
ples, which may be well compared 
with Justin's quotations. I cannot 
admit that the grounds of explana- 
tion proposed are 'purely imaginary.' 
They lie in the historical investiga- 
tion of the text of the Gospels. . 




and as it was made for an independent purpose it cannot 
seem to have been suggested by them, however nearly 
it explains their origin. 

In the first group of passages which Justin quotes 
in his Apology from the * Precepts of Christ ' he says : 

* Now concerning our affection {arep'^eiv) for all men He 

* taught this : If ye love them which love y on what strange 
'thing do y&l for the fornicators do this... And to the 
'end that we should communicate to those who need... 

* He said : Give to every one that asketh, and from him 
' that would borrow turn ye not away; for if ye lejtd to 
' them of whom ye hope to receive, what strange thing do 
'ye.? this even the publicans do V The whole form of 
the quotation, the context, the intertexture of the words 
of St Matthew and St Luke, shew that the quotation is 
made from memory. How then are we to regard the 
repetition of the phrase 'what strange thing do ye.?' 
The corresponding words in St Luke in both cases are 
what thank have ye f in St Matthew, who has only the 
first passage, what reward have ye f This very diversity 
might occasion the new turn which Justin gives to the 
sentence ; and the last words point to its source in the 
text of St Matthew : If ye love them which love you, what 

^ Ap. I. 15 : Ileyol hh Tov aripyeLV 
airavTas ravra ediSa^ev' Ei ayairare 
Toi/s dyawQivTas vfias, tL Kaivbv 
TTOietre; (riva fiiadbv '4x'^T^ ', Mt. 
TToia vfuv xcipts earb ; Lc.) Kal yap 
01 TTopvoi [ol reKCovai Mt. oi a^ap- 
TwXoi Lc.) TovTO TToiovcriv (Lukc vi. 
32; Matt. V. 46)...Ets U to Koivcav- 
€iv Toh deo/xevoLS /cat /xrjdeu irpos do^au 
iroietv ravra ^<pr]' Ilafrl rip airovvri 
di8oT€ {d OS Aft; SiSov Zc.) KaiTov ^ov- 
XojJLevov [diXovra Mt.) daveiaacOat 
fiT) dTro(TTpa(f)7JT€ (-■^j Mt. the text of 
Lc. is here quite different). EZ yot,p 
davei^ere Trap cov iXTri^ere XafSelu, ri 
Kdivov Tomre ; {Mt. omits this clause : 

Lc. ut supra) Tov to Kal ol reXuvai 
iroiomiv (Matt. v. 42; Luke vi. 30, 
34). In all the quotations from 
Justin I have marked the variations 
from the text of the Gospels by Ro- 
man letters in the Italicised transla- 
tion, and in the original by spaced 
letters. If there appear to be any fair 
MS. authority for a reading wliich 
Justin gives I have not noticed it, 
unless it be of grave importance. For 
instance in the second passage Xa^elv 
is read for aTroXa^eiu by 5< B L ; and 
in the first tovto for rb avrb by good 
Greek and (especially) Latin authori- 

Chap. ii. 

according- to 
this clnssi- 

I. Synofty- 



First in- 
Luke vi. 32. 



reward have ye ? Do not even the publicans the same ? 
And if ye salute your brethren only^ what remarkable 
thing do ye ? Do not even the heathen so^f The change 
of the word {Kaivo<^ for irepKicro^) which alone remains 
to be explained — if indeed it were not suggested by 
the common idiom^ — falls in with the peculiar object of 
Justin's argument, who wished to shew the reformation 
wrought in men by Christ's teaching. The repetition 
of the phrase in two passages closely connected was 
almost inevitable. 

The recurrent readings in Justin offer another in- 
stai^ce of the substitution of a synonymous phrase for 
the true text. He quotes our Lord as saying : ' Many 
' shall come in my name clothed without in sheep-skins 
'but being inwardly raveJiing wolves^ ^ This quotation 
again is evidently a combination of two passages of St 
Matthew, and made from memory. The longer expres- 
sion in Justin reads like a paraphrase of the words in 
the Gospel, and is illustrated by the single reference 
made to the verse by Clement, who speaks of the Pro- 
phetic Word as describing some m^n uuder the image 

1 Matt. V. 47 : ri trepLaahv iroLHre ; 
In this verse we n^ust read iOvLKol for 
reXQvaL, but TeXwvai is undoubtedly 
the right reading in the correspond- 
ing clause in ver. 46, and thus the 
connexion of the words is scarcely 
less striking than before. At the 
same time Justin may have read re- 
Xwj/af the verse is not quoted by 
Clement, Origen, or Irenaeus. 

^ The phrase Kaivbv iroieiv occurs 
in Plato, jResp. ill. 399 e. It is pos- 
sible that irepLaabv iroieiv may be 
found elsewhere, but I doubt whether 
it would be used in the same sense ; 
irepiaaa TrpdaacLu has a meaning alto- 
gether different. 

3 £>tai: c. 35 {Ap. I. 16): HoXXoi 

iXevcrovTou {"^^ovaiv Ap.) iirl tQi 6v6' 
Ixolt'l fiov ^^uidev { + pikv Ap.) iu5e- 
dv/x^voi Sipfiara irpo^dTOju, ia-co- 
dev 84 elcrt [oures Ap.) Xvkoi apirayes 
(Matt. xxiv. 5 ; vii. 15). Immedi- 
ately below {Dial. I. c. ) Justin quotes, 
Ilpocre'xere 6.irh tCjv xf/evSoTrpocprjTwu 
oiTives eXevaovrai {^pxovraL Mt.) 
irpbs vfias ^^wdev, k.t.X. (Matt. vii. 
15 : iu evbvixaat, irpo^iToiv). The 
phrase ev^vfiaai irpo^dTwv is very 
strange, and though there is appa- 
rently no variation in the MSS. dipfxa- 
CL has been conjectured. Cf. Schulz, 
171 I. Semisch has remarked that 
ivdeSvuiuoi d^p/xara shews traces 
of the text of St Matthew (p. 340). 




of wolves arrayed in sheep's fleeces^. If Clement allowed 
himself this licence in quoting the passages, surely it 
cannot be denied to Justin. 

In close connexion with these various readings is 
another passage in which Justin substitutes a special for 
a general word, and replaces a longer and more unusual 
enumeration of persons by a short and common one. 
' Christ cried aloud before He was crucified. The Son of 
' Man micst suffer many things and be rejected by {yiro) 
'the scribes and Pharisees and be crucified and on the 
' third day rise again"^! In another place the same words 
occur with the transposition of the titles ' the Pha- 
'risees and scribes.' Once again the text is given 
obliquely : ' Christ said that He must suffer many things 
'of (aTTo) the scribes and Pharisees a7id be crucified...' 
In this last instance the same preposition is used as in 
St Luke, and the two variations only remain constant — 
* scribes and Pharisees ' for * elders and chief priests and 
' scribes,' and 'crucified' for ' put to death^' Though these 
readings are not supported by any Manuscript autho- 
rity, they are sufficiently explained by other Patristic 
quotations. The example of Origen shews the natural 
difficulty of recalling the exact words of such a passage. 
At one time he writes The Son of Man mnst be rejected 
of {airo) the chief priests and elder s...\ again... ^ the 
chief priests- and Pharisees and scribes...) again... ^ the 

^ Clem. Al. Protr. § 4 : \vkoi koj- 
diois Trpo/Sdrwj' rjfKfuea/xevoi.. 

2 jDiaL c. 76 : 'E/36a yap irpb tov 
(TTavpoodTJvar Aec tov vlbv tov dvdpdj- 
TTOV TToXAd iradeiv koL dirodoKLfjiaadTJvaL 
virb [dirb Lc.) tGjv ypajxixaTiwv 
Kal ^apiaaioiv {wpea^vT^pwu Kal 
dpxi-^P^^v Kal ypafM/iiaTioju Lc.) Kal 
(xrav pwOrjvai (dTroKTavdrjvai Tc.) 
Kal TV TptTTj VP-^P9- aTaaTTJvat. Cf. 
100; 51: Luke ix. ■22.. 

^ In Matt. xvi. 21 iradeiv virb is 
read by D ; in Mark viii. 31 it is 
supported by 5< B C D (which how- 
ever proceeds Kal diro t(2v dpx- ) <^c. 
and must be received into the text; 
in Luke ix. 22 dvo is the reading of 
the majority of the MSS. From 
this note it will appear how little 
weight could be rested on the read- 
ing virb in Justin, even if it were 

Chap. ii. 




elders and chief priests and the scribes oi the people \ 
In corresponding texts a similar confusion occurs both 
in Manuscripts and quotations I The second variation 
is still less remarkable. Even in a later passage of St 
Luke the word ' crucified ' is substituted for ' put to 
'death,' and Trenaeus twice repeats the same reading. 
From that time He begaji to shew to His disciples that 
He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from 
the priests and be rejected and crucified and the third 
day rise again^. The Son of Man must suffer many 
things and be rejected and crucified and the third day 
rise again^. It is scarcely too much to say that both 
these passages differ more from the original text than 
Justin's quotations, and have more important common 
variations; and yet no one will maintain that Irenaeus 
was unacquainted with our Gospels, or used other records 
of Christ's life. 

Another quotation of Justin's which may be classed 
under this same division is more instructive, as it shews 
the process by which these various readings were stereo- 
typed. Prayer for enemies might well seem the most 
noble characteristic of Christian morality. * Christ taught 
' us to pray even for our enemies, saying Be ye kind and 
' merciful, even as is your heavenly Father^! ' We who 
'used to hate one another. pray for our enemies^...' 
The phrase as well as the idea was fixed in Justin's mind ; 
and is it then strange that he quotes our Lord's teach- 
ing on the love of enemies elsewhere in this form : Pray 

1 Griesbach, Symh. Crit. p. 291. Luke ix. I'i). The words et repro- 

2 See the various readings to Matt, hari form no part of the text of St 
xxvi. 3, 59; xxvii. 41. Matthew. 

3 Iren. ill. 18. 4: Ex eo enini, ^ Id. iii. 16. 5: Oportet enim, 
inquit, coepit demonstrare discentibus inquit, Filium hominis tmiUa pati et 
(to his disciples) qiioniani oportet repj'obari et crucifigi et die tertio re- 
illum Hierosolymam ire et miilta pati surgere (Luke ix. 22). 

a sacerdotibus et reprobari ^/ crucifigi ^ Dial. c. 96. . Comp, p. 128. 
et tertia die resurgere (Matt. xvi. 21 ; ^ Ap. I. 14. 




for your ejtemies^ and love them that hate yozi, and bless 
them that curse you^ and pray for them that despitefully 
useyou^f The repetition of the key-word /r^j/ points to 
the origin of the change; and the form and context of 
the quotation shew that it was not made directly from 
any written source. But here again there are consider- 
able variations in the readings of the passage. In St 
Matthew it should stand thus : Love your enemies, and 
pray for them that persecute yott. The remaining clauses 
appear to have been interpolated from St Luke. Origen 
quotes the text in this shorter form five times; and in 
the two remaining quotations he only substitutes them 
that despitefidly use you from St Luke for them that 
persecute you in the last claused Irenaeus gives the pre- 
cept in another shape: ^ Love your enemies, and pray 

* for them that hate you^' Still more in accordance 
with Justin's citation Tertullian says, * It is enjoined 

* on us to pray to God for our enemies, and to bless our 
'■persecutors^'. It would be useless to extend the in- 
quiry further. 

Transpositions are perhaps less likely to recur than 
new forms of expression; at least I have not noticed 
any repeated in Justin. One or two examples however 
shew the nature of a large class of glosses. Every 
scholar is familiar with what may be called \h^ prophetic 
use of the present tense. In the intuition of the seer the 
future is already realized, not completely but incep- 

^ Ap. I. 15: E^xetr^e vvhp tCjv 
iX^P^^ vfiojv Kal dyaTrare toi)s 
fiiaovvTas v/ {dyairolTe roi/s ix- 
dpoiis v/xQv, KaXCos irouiTe Toh /xiaou- 
aiv vfxois Lc.) Kal {om. Lc.) eiiXoyeire 
Toiis KarapufXivovs vfuv Kal eiix^*^^^ 
{■irpocre6xe(Td€ Mt., and Lc. omitting 
Kox) Xiirkp [irepl Lc.) rdv iirrjpea^ouTcou 
vfias (Luke vi. 27, 28. Cf. Matt. v. 

2 Griesbach, Symk Crit. 11. pp. 
253 sq. 

^ c. HcBr. III. 18. 5 ; DiUgite ini- 
micos vesiros et orate pro eis qui vos 

* Ap. 31 : Prseceptum est nobis ad 
redundantiam benignitatis etiam/r^ 
inimicis Deum orare et persecutoribus 
nostris bona precari. 

Chap. ii. 

2. Transpo- 

3. Glosses, 

The prophe- 
tic use oftJtt 



Chap. iL 

Instance of 
the interpre- 
tation of it 
in Justin. 

tively: the action is seen to be already begun in the 
working of the causes ^which lead to its accomplishment. 
This is the deepest view of futurity, which regards it as 
the outgrowth of the present. But more frequently we 
break the connexion : future things are merely things 
separated by years or ages from ourselves ; and this 
simple notion has a tendency to destroy the truer one. 
It is not then surprising that both in Manuscripts and 
quotations the clearly-defined future is confounded with 
the subtler present. Even in parallel passages of the 
Synoptic Gospels the change is sometimes found, being 
due to a slight alteration of the point of sight \ The 
most important instance in Justin occurs in his account 
of the testimony of John the Baptist: '/ indeed am bap- 
* tizing you with water tmto repentance ; bnt He that is 
' mightier than I will come whose shoes I am not worthy 
'to bear; He will baptize you with the Holy Gliost and 
'fire^...' The whole quotation except the clause in ques- 
tion and the repetition of a pronoun agrees verbally with 
the text of St Matthew. This is the more remarkable 
because Clement gives the passage in a form differing 
from all the Evangelists', and Origen has quoted it with 
repeated variations, even after expressly comparing the 
words of the four Eyangelists*. The series of changes 

1 Matt. xxiv. 40 ; Luke xvii. 34 
(where however vapaXan^dyerai and 
d<pUTai are read by D K dr'c. though 
they retain the futures in ver. 35). 
Compare John xxi. 18, where D 
gives a present instead of otaeu Cf. 
Winer, JV. T. Grammatik, § 40. 1. a 
(ed. 6). 

» Dial. c. 49 (cf. c. 88) : '£70; 
iiJkv vfids ^aiTTi^u iv vSari els /jLcrd- 
voiav ^^et 5^ {yap c. 88) 6 iax^pb- 
TepSs fiov (6 5e oiriau} fxov epx^fifvos 
laxvpoTepbs fiov icrrlv Alt. ^px^rai d^ 
6 laxvpoTepoi fiov Lc.) ov ovk elfd 
iKavos ...rvpL' o5 rb rriov airov 

(onj. Aft., Lc.) h ry x-°-<^^^<^T(f 
(Matt. iii. 11, 12; Luke iii. 16, 17). 
For the insertion of avroC compare 
Mark vii. 25 (N D A however omit 
the pronoun); Apoc. vii. 2. See 
Winer, § 22. 4. b. 

^ Clem. Alex. Fragm. § 25 : iyu) 
fxkv vfxa<i vdari /SaTrri'^w, ipxerai 
S4 fjLOv diriffo} 6 ^aiTTL^iov vfxas 
h irvevfiari koI Trvpl...Tb ydp tttvov 
iv ry X'^'-P^ airrov rov diaKaddpai 
T-qv aXu) Kal avvd^ei rbv airov eis ttjv 
drrod-fiKTiv [iiriO^Krjv Griesb.) rb 8i... 


* Comm. in Joan. vi. 16. Id. vi. 




involved in the reading of Justin can be traced exactly. 
In place of the phrase of St Matthew but he that is com- 
ing is mightier than /... St Mark and St Luke read but 
he that is mightier tha^t I is coming... Now elsewhere 
Justin has represented this very verb is coming by two 
futures in different quotations of the same versed The 
fact that he uses two words shews that he intended in 
each case to give the sense of the original; and since 
one of them is the same as appears in the words of St 
John its true relation to the text of the Gospels is esta- 
blished ^ 

The remaining instances of variations which are re- 
peated occur in the combination of parallel texts. In 
the first given the coincidence is only partial : the differ- 
ences of the two quotations from one another are at 
least as great as their common difference from the text 
of the Gospels. Many shall say to me in that day, — so 
Justin quotes our Lord's words, — Lord, Lord, did we not 
in Thy name eat and drink and prophesy a?id cast out 
devils f And I zvill say to them. Depart from me. In 
the Apology the passage runs thus : Many sJtall say 
to me, Lord, Lord, did we not in Thy name eat and 
drink and do mighty works? And then will I say to 
tJuMy Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity^. It so 

Chap. iL 

26; e7w paiTTl^O} iv vdari, 6 8k 

iariv, avTos v/xas ^airTiaei. iv irvev- 
fxari a'yi(p. Cf. Griesb. Sy??7b. Crit. 
II. 244, who seems to have confound- 
ed the Evangelist and the Baptist. 

^ Cf. p. 140, note 3: Matt. vii. 15. 

2 Good examples of 'glosses' oc- 
cur Apol. I. 15 e/c€t KoX o VQV% rod 
dvdpwTTov for iK€i Kal 17 Kap8la aov 

(Matt. vi. 21). Apol. I. 16 XafixJ/dTCj 
TO. AcaXa ^pya for Xafixf/dro) <j>Qi 
(Matt. V. 16). Apol. I. 16 rbre ipd 
for t6t€ 6/io\oy:q<T(d (Matt. vii. 23), 
&c. Some of these may have been 
incorporated in Justin's text : some 
he may have introduced himself. In 
each of the cases quoted there can 
be no doubt which is the original 

^ Dial. c. 76: iroWoi ipovai fioi t^ Tjfiipq. iKeivrj' Kvpie Kvpie ov 

Apol. I. 16: TToXXot ipovai fioi Kvpie Kvpie ov 

Matt. vii. 22, 23: iroXXoi ipovaiv fioi iv iKelvri ry -rj/xipg,' Kvpie Kvpie oC 
D. T(p<r(^ dvo/ioLTi iipdyofiev /cat i ir'iofiev koX Trpoe(pTjfrsv<Ta[i.eir Kal 

4- Combina- 
(a) 0/ words: 



happens that Origen has quoted the same passage seve- 
ral times with considerable variations, but four times he 
combines the words of St Matthew and St Luke as 
Justin has done. Many shall say to me in that day, 
Lord, Lord, did we not in Thy name eat and drink, 
and in Thy name cast out devils and do mighty works ? 
A nd I will say to them, Depart from me, because ye are 
workers of tmrighteousness^. The parallel is as complete 
as can be required, and proves that Justin need not have 
had recourse to any Apocryphal book for the text which 
he has preserved. Indeed the very same insertions de- 
rived from St Luke xiii. 26, 27 are now found in Cure- 
ton's Syriac Version. 

Sometimes a combination of diff<^ent passages con- 
sists more in the intermixture of forms than of words. 
Of this Justin offers one good example. He twice 
quotes the woe pronounced against the false sanctity 
of the scribes and Pharisees with considerable variations, 
but in both cases preserves one remarkable difference 
from St Matthew whose words he uses. When exclaim- 
ing against the frivolous criticism of the Jewish doctors 
he asks, ' Shall they not rightly be called that which our 
'Lord Jesus Christ said to them: Whited sepulchres, 
'without appearing beautiful and zvithin full of dead 

A. r<f5 g(^ bvofxaTL itpdyofiev /cat eiriofieu 

M. T^Jcry cvo/xaTi iTrpo<f>r]T€v<Tafiev Kal Ti^a(^ dvofiari 

D. diafidvia e^e^dXojxei' ; Kal 

A Kal dvvdfieis iiroLrjaafjiev ; kuI 

M. 5aifi6via i^e^d\o/j.€v Kal roj cr^ dpSfiari dwdfieis iroWds ^TroLrjaaixev ; Kal 

D. ...... ^pG) avToh 'A J/ axwpeire ctt' 

A. Tore ipQ ^ avrois 'AiroxojpeiTe drr' 

M. Tore 6/MoXoyr](T(a avrots on ovMirore ^yvuv v/ids, aToxtopeire djr' 

D. i/Jiov. 

A. €/J.ov ... ipydruL rijs dvofxlas. 

M. ifiov ol e pya^ofiepoL rrjv duofiiav. 

See Luke xiii. 26, 27, from which the words peculiar to Justin's citation 
are derived. 

^ Griesb. Symb. Crit. 11. p. 262. 




* bones^ paying tithe of mint but swallowing a camel, blind 
'guides^?* 'Christ seemed no friend to you... when he 

* cried, Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees^ hypocrites, for 
^ ye pay tithe of mint and rue but regard not the love of 
' God and judgment ; whited sepulchres, without appearing 
' beautiful but within full of dead bones I' 

False teachers are no longer like to whited sepidchres ; 
they are very sepulchres. The change is striking. If 
this be explained, the participial form of the sentence 
creates no new difficulty, but follows as a natural se- 
quence. The text of St Matthew however offers no 
trace of its origin. There indeed in different authorities 
three different expressions of comparison — irapofjuo Latere, 
ofiocd^ere, ofioiol icrre — are found, but none omit it. Cle- 
ment and Irenaeus give the passage with a very re- 
markable variation^, but they agree with the Manu- 
scripts in preserving the connexion. The Naassenes or 
Ophites, according to the Treatise against Heresies attri- 
buted to Hippolytus*, quoted the saying in a form more 
similar to that of Justin but with an additional change: 

* Ye are whited tombs, [Christ] says, fill within of dead 
^ bones ^ Here the passing characteristic is transformed 
into a substantive description. The clue to the solution 

^ Dial. cc. 1 1 2, 1 7. The passage 
common to both runs thus : t6.<(>o(. 
KeKov t.aiJ.ivot, ^^(adev (paiydfiepoi 
ihpaioi Kal ^(Tudev (e<r. 5^ G. 17) 
y^fiouTcs darioiv veKpCov. . The cor- 
responding clause in Matt, xxiii. 27 
is : ort irapofMOLa^ere rdcpois KeKovia- 
fiiyoLS oiTives ^^oidev [xh (paivovTai 
CopaioL ^audev 8^ yifwvcriv dar^wv 
veKpQv Kal irdarrjs dKudapcrias. For 
7rapo/jt,ot.d^€T€ Lachmann reads ofioid- 
fere with B. Clement (Griesb. Symb. 
Crit. II. 327) has o/ioiot eare {Peed. 
III. 9. 47). 

2 Dial. c. 17. 

** Clem. /. a : i^cadev 6 Td4>ot 

<paip€Tai. (bpaios ^vdov 5h yifiei 
... Iren, IV. 18. 3 : A /oris enim 
sepulcrum apparet formosum intus 

autein plenum est The passage 

stands so also in D and d (monu- 
mentum paretur decorum). 

* [Hipp.] adv. Hcej'. v. 8, p. m 
ed. Miller, liiovro, (}>ricriv, ia-rl rb 

€Lp7]fJLh0V Td<pOL €<JTk KeKOViafxivOL 

y^fMovTCs, (prjcriv, ^croideu 6ot4u}p ve- 
KpCiv. I may add that though I 
have cited this Treatise for conveni- 
ence sake under the name of Hippo- 
lytus, I am by no means satisfied 
that the question of its authorship 
has been finally settled. 

L 2 



of the difficulty which arises from these various modifi- 
cations of the Lord's saying must be sought for in St 
Luke. He has not indeed a single word in common 
with Justin, but he has expressed the thought — at least 
according to very weighty evidence — in the same man- 
ner^ : * Woe to you, for ye are unseen tombs, and men 
* when they walk over them k7iow it not! Justin has thus 
clothed the living image of St Luke in the language of 
St Matthew. 

These are all the quotations in Justin which exhibit 
any constant variation from the text of the Gospels^ In 
the few other cases of recurrent quotations the differ- 
ences between the several texts are at least as important 
as their common divergence from the words of the 
Evangelist^ This fact alone is sufficient to shew that 
Justin did not exactly reproduce the narrative which he 
read, but made his references generally by memory, and 
that inaccurately. Under such circumstances the autho- 
rity of the earliest of the Fathers, who are admitted on 
all sides to have made constant and special use of the 
Gospels, has been brought forward to justify the ex- 
istence and recurrence of variations from the Canonical 
text ; and though it would have been easy to have 
chosen more striking instances of their various readings, 
still by taking those only which are found in the very 
passages to which Justin also refers the parallel gains in 

^ Luke xi, 44 : Oual v}u.v ort ^<STi 
[om. djs ret] \ivr\iiHa. [om. to,] (XSt^Xo 
KoX oX avOpuTTOL eirdvo) TreptTrarovvTes 
oVK oidaaLv. So D a b c d, Syr. Crt. 
Lucif. ; Griesbach marks the reading 
as worthy of notice. 

2 I have not noticed the variation 
in the reference to Luke x. 16 : 6 
ifiov cLKo^iov cLKovet ToO airoa-reiXav- 
Tos lie {Aj)oL I. 63. Cf. c. 16), be- 
cause it is contained in several MSS. 

and Versions : D a b d, Syrr., Arm., 
^th., &c. 

3 The following passages may be 
compared : Dial. c. 96 ; Apol. i. 15 
= Luke vi. 36; Matt. v. 45. For 
the repetition of xP'n<^'^o^ ^al okrlp- 
fioves compare Clem. Strom. Ii. 59. 
100: iXerjfjioves koL olKTip/jLoves. Dial. 
c. lOT ; Apol. I. 16 = Matt. xix. i6, 
17; Luke xviii. 18, 19. 

Comp. pp. 127 ff. 




direct force at least as much as it seemingly loses in 

But even if it were not' so : if it had seemed that 
recurrent variations could be naturally explained only 
by supposing that they were derived from an original 
written source, that written source might still have been 
a Manuscript of our Gospels. One very remarkable type 
of a class of early Manuscripts has been preserved in 
the Codex Bezcs (D) — the gift of the Reformer to the 
University of Cambridge — which contains verbal differ- 
ences from the common text, and Apocryphal additions 
to it, no less remarkable than those which we here have 
to explain \ The frequent coincidences of the readings 
of this Manuscript with those of Justin must have been 
observed already; and if it had perished, as it might 
well have done, in the civil wars of France^, many cita- 
tions in Clement and Irenaeus would have seemed as 
strange as his peculiarities I We are arguing on pre- 
mises only partly true, but it is none the less important 
to notice that up to this point there is nothing in Justin's 
quotations, supposing them to have been drawn imme- 
diately from a written source, which cannot be explained 
from what we know of the history of the text of our 

One or two examples given somewhat more in detail 
will place this statement in a clearer light. If the follow- 

1 See Note C at the end of the 

2 Initio belli civilis apud Gallos 
an. MDLXII. ex coenobio S. Irenasi 
Lugduni postquam ibi diu in pulvere 
jacuisset nactus est Beza... Mill, Pr^- 
leg.N. T. 1268. 

3 The following examples will serve 
to confirm the statement : 

• Matt, xxiii. 26. i^wdev ... Clem. 
Fizd. III. 9. 48; Iren. iv. 18. 3. 

Lukexii. II. (()ipu}(nv. Clem. Or. 
(Griesb. Symb. Crit. ii. 377). 

Luke xii. a 7. o^re vfjda oSre v<f>ai- 
vei. Clem. Fad. ii. 10. 102. 

Luke xii. 38. ry ea-irepiv^ <pv\aK^. 
Iren. v. 34. 2. 

Luke xix. 26. irpoaTldeTai.. Clem. 
Strom. VII. 10, Trpoa-Tidrja-eTai. 

Cf. Hug, Introdiictioii, I. § 22. 
It is needless to multiply instances. 

Chap. ii. 

(b) that they 
■were taken 
from a MS. 

e.g^. Codex 

of early 



ing phrase had been found in Justin : ' your Father 
' knoweth what things ye have need of before yoii open 
'your month ;^ it would have been urged with great show 
of reason that it could not have been derived from our St 
Matthew's Gospel : that the peculiar form of expression 
had an air of originality : that Justin had evidently taken it 
from an Apocryphal record. But the words stand in fact 
in the Codex Bezce and one Latin copy in Matt. vi. 8. Or 
again if we had read in an early Father that Herod said 
to his servants on hearing of the fame of Jesus : Ca7i this 
be John the Baptist whom I beheaded? it would have 
been pointed out that the sentence has points of similar- 
ity with our three Synoptic Gospels, and also marked 
points of difference from them: that its vividness and 
force bespeak a source earlier than those which these 
represent: that it must be a fragment of the primitive 
Gospel according to the Hebrews. So however Herod's 
words stand in Matt, xiv. 2 in Codex Bezce and a number 
of old Latin authorities. Or to take another kind of 
illustration, could it be proved more triumphantly that an 
Apologist had made use of other records than the Canon- 
ical Gospels than by shewing that he had said that it 
was written in the Memoirs of the Apostles that the 
stone placed upon the sepulchre was one which twenty 
men coidd scarcely roll? Yet this addition is found at 
Luke xxiii. 53 in Codex Bezce, in a copy of the old Latin 
and in an Egyptian version, so that the words undoubt- 
edly formed part of a text of the Canonical St Luke in 
the last quarter of the second century at the latest. 

Illustrations could be multiplied indefinitely. But 
these samples will be sufficient to establish the con- 
clusion which has been drawn from the wide variations 
in copies of the Canonical Gospels during the second 
century. We are not at present concerned with the solu- 




tion of the problems of textual criticism which such 
variations offer. It is enough to repeat in the presence 
of these facts that differences from the present text of the 
Gospels such as are found in Justin are wholly inade- 
quate to prove that passages so differing could not have 
been taken from copies of our Gospels. 

But it is said that some of Justin's quotations exhibit 
coincidences with fragments of heretical Gospels, which 
prove that he must have made use of them, if not exclu- 
sively, at least in addition to the writings of the Evan- 

One such passage has been already considered inci- 
dentally \ and it has been shewn that the reading which 
Justin gives appears elsewhere in Catholic writers; and 
that in fact it may exhibit the original text. The re- 
maining instances are neither many nor of great weight. 
The most important of them is the reference to our 
Lord's discourse with Nicodemus^: 'For Christ said Ex- 
* cept ye be born again (dvayevvrjdrjre) ye shall no^ enter 
' i7ito the kingdom of heaven. But that it is impossible 
'for those who have been once born to enter into their 
'mother's womb is clear to allV In the Clementines the 
passage reads: 'Thus sware our Prophet to us, saying 
' Verily I say unto you, except ye be born again [dvafyev- 
' vrjOrjre) with living water into the name of the Father, 
' Son, [and] Holy Spirit, ye shall not enter into the king- 
' dom f?/ heaven*.' Both quotations differ from St John 


1 Cf. pp. 135 f. 

2 Cf. Semisch, § 25, pp. 189 ff. 

^ Ap. I. 61 : /cat yap 6 Xpiarbs 
etirev' *Av jxt] dvayevPTjdijTe, ov 
fiT] elciXd-qre els rrjv ^aaCkdav tGjv 
ovpavCbv. "On di /cat d56vaTov els 
rds iiTjTpas tQv t€kov<T(2v roi/s 
ttTTO^ fyeuofxivovs ifi^ijvai (pavepbv 
iraaiv iari. 

* Jlom. XI. 26: ovTUS yh.p rjixiv 

oifjioffev 6 TTpoip^Trjs eliriav 'Ap.r]v 
( + dfirjv J oh.) vfuv X^w (X. aoi Joh.)^ 
kdv firi dvayevv7}d7]Te (rts yevvrjOy 
yok.) v8aTi ^civTi, els 6vop.a ira- 
Tpbs, vlov, dylov irve^ixaTOS, oi 
fiTj elaiK6r]T€ {ov dOvarat elceXdeiv 
yoh.) els TTJv ^aa-iXelav roav ovpavQiv 
{tov Qeov yoh.). See Matt, xviii. 3 
(Schwegler, i. p. 218). Cf. Recog. vi. 
9: Sic enim nobis cum sacramento 

(7) Coinci- 
dences with 

Matt, xi, 27 . 

John iii. 3, 5. 



in the use of the plural, in the word descriptive of the 
new birth, and in the phrase ye shall not enter into the 
kingdom of Jieaven instead of he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God; but their variations from one another 
are not less striking, for the introduction of the phrase 
'living water' and of the baptismal formula in the 
Homily is the most significant part of its variation from 
the text of St John \ 

If the familiar use of one phrase were in all cases a 
sufficient explanation of its substitution for another 
which is more strange, there would be little difficulty 
here. The whole class of words relative to the New 
Birth {dva'yevvad-Oai, ava'^kvvr](ji<i) formed a part of the 
common technical language of Christians, and they 
occur repeatedly both in Justin and in the Clementines^ 
The phrase in the Gospel {^evvqOrjvat avcoOev) on the 
other hand is not only peculiar but ambiguous^ Nor 
is this all: the passage as quoted in both cases is put 

verus propheta testatus est dicens : 
Amen dico vobis, nisi quis denuo re- 
natiis fuerit {dpayewrjdy avwdev) ex 
aqua, non introibit in regna cceloriim. 
The natural confusion of the con- 
tents of the third and fifth verses in 
St John's record which is already seen 
in the passages quoted {born again, 
V. 3 ; 'enter, v. 5) is made still more 
puzzling by the reading of Cod. Si- 
nait. in V. 5, eav fit] ria e^ v5aT0<T kul 
Truer yevvrjdT] ov dvvarai eideiv rrju ffaai- 
\iav T(j)v ovpaviav [ruiv ovpavuv is the 
original reading of &< and tov deov the 
correction of &?°, and not vice versa 
as has been lately stated]. The use 
of dpayeuvTjd^Te seems to me to point 
certainly to the yevv-qdriuai dv(j}d6v of 

Dr Hort calls my attention to 
the fact that the readings of the 
Old Latin Copies indicate conclu- 
sively that D also read dvayevvr}- 
drjre. It may be worth while re- 

ferring to the familiar words in our 
Service for Baptism... 'Christ saith, 
'None can enter into the kingdom of 
' God except he de regenc7-ate and bo7-n 
'awi'wofwaterand of the Holy Ghost,* 
where the phrase is rendered doubly. 
See also Pro;/, p. xxxii, n. 

^ The minute and cautious exami- 
nation of the passage by Dr Abbot, 
/. c. pp. 29 — 4 1, goes very far to shew 
that Justin took the saying directly 
from St John. Even if the Lord's 
words were preserved in a traditional 
form it is hard to suppose that Nico- 
demus' difficulty would be. 

" The earliest examples of this 
Christian use of the words are i Pet. 
i. 3, 23 : Clejn. Horn. vil. 8 ; XI. 26 
(immediately before the quotation) ; 
XI. 35 ; Justin, Ap. i. 61. Cf. Cred- 
ner, Beitrdge, l. p. 301 f. 

^ In saying this I must add that 
the context appears to be decisive in 
favour of the sense demio. . 




in the form of a general address. If then the general 
formula was thus adapted from the Evangelist, one 
change might furnish occasion for the others. And it is 
not to be overlooked that Ephraem Syrus has given the 
words in a form which combines in equal proportions 
the peculiarities of St John and Justin*: ' Except a man 

* be born again from above {avayevvrjdfj avwOev) he shall 
^not stQ the kingdom ^/heaven.' So also in the Aposto- 
lical Constitutions the words are quoted thus : ' The 

* Lord says Except a man be born {^evvr]B^ of water and 
^ Spirit^ he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'^' 
If these parallels are not sufficient to prove beyond doubt 
that the quotation of Justin is a reminiscence of St John, 
at least they indicate that it was not derived from any 
Apocryphal Gospel, but rather from some such tradition 
of our Lord's words as has preserved peculiar types of 
other texts l Apocryphal Gospels were in fact only 
unauthorised collections of such traditionary materials; 
and it should be no matter of surprise if that which was 
recorded in them survived elsewhere as a current story 
or saying. The marvel is that early writers so con- 
stantly confined themselves within the circle of the Ca- 
nonical narratives. 

The next instance which is quoted as shewing a co- 
incidence between Justin and the Clementine Gospel 

Chap. ii. 

1 De Pcenit. iii. p. 183 (Semisch, 
p. 196): kav ixi] TLS dvayevvqd-^ 
avudeu, ov fxij 1'57; ttju ^aaCkeiav tQv 
ovpavCjv. See also the reading of 
Cod. Sinait. given on p. 151, n. 4. 

^ Const. Apost.Yi. 15 (Semisch, 
/. c.) : X^7et 6 Kvpios' iau [xyj rts y^v- 
vrjdrj ^^ v5aTos Kal Trfev/maros, ov firj 
ela^Xdri els rrju ^aatXeiav t(2v ovpa- 
pu)v. For yevuTjdrj, the common read- 
ing is ^aiTTKxdri which is probably a 
gloss on yew. i^ 0. Kai irv. No instance 
of paTrTi^ei.v iK rtvos Qccurs, to me. 

' Schwegler (i. 218) has pointed 
out a passage in the Shepherd of 
Hermas which alludes to the same 
traditional saying : * Necesse est, in- 
quit [pastor], ut per aqtiam habeant 
ascendere ut requiescant. Non pote- 
rant enim in regnutn Dei aliter in- 
trare, quam ut deponerent mortalita- 
tem prioris vitas' (iii. ix. 16). The 
coincidence of the latter clause with 
St John and not with Justin is to be 

jiuith Apo- 
cryphal Gos- 
pels no proof 
of their use. 




illustrates yet more clearly the existence of a traditional 
as well as of an Evangelic form of Christ's words. 
'That we should not swear at all, but speak the truth 
'always,' Justin says, 'Christ thus exhorted us: Swear 
' not at all ; but let (ecrra)) your yea be yea : and your 
'nay nay: Jput what is mare than these is of the evil one^^ 
In the text of St Matthew the corresponding words are 
I say unto you Swear not at all...b2U let your speech 
be Yea yea, Nay nay; bict what is more than these is of 
the evil one. It so happens however that St James has 
referred to the same precept: Before all thijigs, my bre- 
thren, swear not, neither by the heaven neither by the earth 
neither by any other [aXkoi) oath: but let (tJto)) your yea 
be yea and your nay nay'^... Clement quotes the latter 
clause in this form as 'a maxim of the Lord^;' and 
Epiphanius says that the Lord in the Gospel commands 
us 'Not to s weary neither by the heaven neither by the 
'earth neither by any other {erepof;) oath: but let (77T&)) 
' your yea be yea and your nay nay : for that which is 
' more (TrepLacrorepov) than these is in its origin {v7rap')(et) 
' of the evil one^' In the Clementine Homilies the words 
are: '[Our master] counselling us said : Let (earrco) your 
'yea be yea and your nay nay; but that zvhicJi is more 
' than these is of the evil one^^ The differences of Epi- 

1 Apol. I. J 6 {Clem. Horn, xix, 2 ; 
Matt. V. 34, 37) : Trepl ^k rov ^77 q/x- 
vvva.L oXws TaXTjdrj 5^ \iyeLv ael ovtus 
wapeKeXevaaTo' firj dfidffTjre oXws* 
^(TTU) 5^ ( + 6 \6yoi Mt.) vfiwv rb (om. 
Mt.) val vol Kai to (om. /cat t6 ML) 
ov o{j' rb 5^ Trepi(7(Xov tovtwv iK rov 
irovepov { + iffTiv Ml, Clem.). 

In Clem. Horn. ill. 55 the passage 
stands: 'iarw vfiuf to val val, to 

ov Oii' TO yhp K.T.X. 

2 James v. 12: Upo vdvTUJv de, 
d5€\<f>oL fiov, firi dfXvveTC fiTjTe rov ov' 
pavov fJ-rire ttjv yijv fii^Tc dWov rivet. 
opKov riTW 5k vjxQv ro val val 

Kal TO ov ov, iva fxrj vtto Kp'i<nv 

^ Slrom. V. 14. 100: TO Kvpiov 
pyjrbv ^aru) (not ^rw) vixwv k.t.X. 
Cf. Lib. vir. 11. 67, where the sen- 
tence is again quoted in a similar 
form : ^arai vixQv k.t.X. 

'^ Epiph. adv. Hcer. I. 20. 6 (l. p. 
44) • [tou Kvpiov\ iv T(^ tvayyeXLc^ 
XeyovTos' fj.rj dfivvvai firiTe rov ov pavov 
IXT]Te Tr}v yrjv p^rjTe 'ire pbv riva opKov* 
dXX rJTCj vfiwv rb val val Kal rb 
ov o(5' rb Tre.pi(rcr6T€pov ydp rai- 

T03V iK TOV TOVTjpOV VTrdpX^t. 

^ Horn. XIX. 2 : cvp-PovXeiuv [6 




phanius from the text of St Matthew are thus greater 
than those of Justin; and the coincidence of Justin with 
the Clementines is confined to words found in St James, 
and quoted expressly by some Fathers as Christ's words. 
The many various readings of our Lord's words, when 
He limited the true application of the word * good ' to 
God only, are well known. It is recorded in different 
forms by the three Evangelists. Justin himself has 
quoted the passage twice, varying almost every word. 
It is brought forward repeatedly by other Fathers, with 
constant variations from the text of the Gospels. In 
the presence of these facts it would be impossible under 
any circumstances to lay great stress upon the coinci- 
dence of a few words in one of Justin's quotations with 
a reading recognised by the Marcosians^ and the Ebi- 
onites. Yet the case is made still simpler when it is 
shewn that Catholic authority can be adduced for each 
word in which he agrees with those widely different 
sects. In the Apology the answer is given ; ''No one is 
'good save God alone, who made all things^.' In the 
Dialogue: 'Why callest thou me goodf One is good, 
'my Father which is in heaven V The Marcosians read 

val V al Kai t6 ov ov' rb Be vipL<r- 


1 We shall ponsider in another 
place (Ch. iv. § 8 and note) whether 
the passages quoted by Irenaeus were 
corrupted by the Marcosians or sim- 
ply misinterpreted. 

2 A/>. I. 16 (Mark x. 18 ; Luke 
xviii. 19) : ovdels dyadbs el jx-q fibvos 
{els Mc.y Lc.) 6 (om. Cod. Sinait. in 
Lc.) Geos 6 iroi^tras rot Trdi/Ta (om. 
Mc, Lc). In St Mark D d combine 
the former words, reading /xbvos els 
eebs. Several other MSS. of the 
Old Latin give solus (Griesb. /. c). 

The concluding words occur just 

before, and are to be considered as 
'an addition of Justin's suggested by 
'the circumstances of the time and 
'his late controversy with Marcion' 
(Credner, i. 243). Such a conces- 
sion takes away much of the force 
of Credner's other arguments. If 
Justin might add a clause to guard 
against a heresy, surely he might 
adapt the language of the Evangel- 
ists so as best to meet the wants of 
his readers. 

^ Dial. c. loi (Marcos, ap. Iren. 
I. 20. 2): Tt fie X^7eis dyadov (Lc. 
xviii. 19); els ecniv dyadbs (Mt. xix. 
17 6 07.), 6 TraTTjp fiov 6 (om. /aou 6 
Marcos.) iv rots oipavois. 

Chap. ii. 

Matt. xix. 17. 
Mark x. 18. 
Lu. xviii. 19. 



in their text: ' Why callest thoiL me good? One is goody 
' the Father in heaven/ In the Clementines the words 
are : * Ca/l me not good: for the Good is One, the Father 
'which is in heaven'^! As to these quotations it is to be 
noticed that Epiphanius has connected the words of St 
Matthew and St Luke in a form similar to that found in 
the Marcosian Gospel and in Justin ^ The last clause 
which is common to the three is the only remaining 
point of difference. Now not only are there traces of 
some addition to the text of St Matthew in several 
versions^: not only did Marcion and Clement and Ori- 
gen recognise the words 'the Father*;' but in one place 
Clement gives the whole sentence, ' No one is good except 
'my Father which is in heaven V He has attached, the 
last clause of Justin to the words of St Luke, exactly 
as in Epiphanius we find the last words of St Matthew 
added to the opening clauses of Justin. 

The last instance which is quoted is not more impor- 
tant than those which have been examined®. After speak- 

1 Horn. XVIII. 3: [17] lie Xiye 
ayadbv 6 ycLp ayadbs els iariv, 6 
irarrip 6 ev rots ovpavoXs. 

2 Epiph. adv. Hcer. Lxix. 19 (i. 
p. 742), 57 (I. p. 780), gives the 
words as quoted by the Arians : tl 
fxe X^7ets ayadbv {Mc. , Lc.) ; cfj iarlu 
ayadbs {Mt. 6 (£7.), 6 Qebs. He 
makes no comment upon the form of 
the reading, but in the course of his 
argument quotes the words himself 
in the form in which they are found 
in St Mark and St Luke {adv. Hcer. 
LXIX. 57, I. p. 781): ri fie \iyeis 
ayadbv; ovbels ayadbs el ixrj eh, 6 
Qebs. If these quotations are com- 
pared with those given in the next 
note it will be obvious how little 
regard was paid to exactness of quo- 
tation in passages which were used 
very familiarly. 

^ It may be necessary to notice 
that the true text in St Matthew xix. 

17 is simply tI fie ipuTq.s irepi tov 
dyadov ; els ifftlv 6 ayaObs. 

^ Marcion read (Epiph. adv. H(Er. 
XLII. p. 315) fi-i] pie Xiyere aya- 
dbv' els ^(JtIv ayadbs, 6 irar-qp. In 
the refutation (p. 339) his text is 
given : /atJ p.e \iye ayadbv' els iarlv 
ayadbs, 6 Qebs b JIaTiqp. For the 
passages of Clement (6 iraTrjp) and 
Origen (6 Qebs b irarrjp) see Griesb. 
Sfmd. Crit. 11. pp. 305, 388. 

^ Fcsd. I. 8. 72 : happTiSrjv \4yef 
cibels dyadbs el p.7} b irar-ffp fxov 6 
ev Tots ovpavois. Semisch, p. 372. 
The passage has been overlooked by 

^ The connexion of Dial. c. g6 
with Horn. in. 57 (Matt. v. 45) is 
noticed in Note D, p. 179. The re- 
ference to Luke xi. 52 in JDi'al. c. 17, 
where ras kXcIs ^xert stands for rjpaTe 
TTjv K\ei5a TTJs yvdiaeus, is very dif- 
ferent from that in Horn. in. 18, 




ing of those sons of the kingdom who shall be cast into 
the outer darkness^ Justin quotes the condemnation of the 
wicked as pronounced by Christ in these words : ' Go ye 

* into the outer darkness which my Father prepared for 

* Satan and his Angels'^' It occurs again in the same form 
in the Clementine Homilies. There are here two varia- 
tions to be noticed — a change in the verb {yirar^eiv for 
iropev€adaL)y and the substitution of ' the outer darkness ' 
for 'the eternal fire.' The first variation occurs elsewhere^: 
the naturalness of the second is shewn by the fact that in 
one Manuscript at least of St Matthew the original reading 
was the outer fire. And more than this; Clement of Alex- 
andria has coupled the two images of 'the fire' and 'the 
' outer darkness ' in a passage which has a distinct refer- 
ence to the words of St Matthew^ 

where the phrase is KparovaL ttjv 

1 Dial. c. 'j6 ; Clem. Horn. xix. 2 ; 
Matt. XXV. 41 : VTr6.'yere ( + d7r' 
k\xov Mt.^ ets TO o-k6tos (ttO/) ML) 
t6 i^ibrepop {alciviou ML) 6 tjtoI- 
fxaaeu 6 Trarrip { + fxov Mt.) ry oa- 
rayq. {8t.a^6\(p ML, C/em.) Kal rots 
dyyeXoLS avrod. 

'Twdyere air ifMov is found in X ; 
and the reading 8 ■^ToL/uLaaev 6 Trarrjp 
ixov is supported by D, 2 mss., 
MSS. of Old Lat., and many Fa- 
thers, so that we may suppose that 
it was early current in the Canonical 
Gospel. Irenseus again once omits 
dir efiou (ill. 23. 3); in two other 
places it is omitted by some manu- 
scripts (iv. 33. II ; 40. 2) ; in the 
remaining place it appears to be read 
by all (iv. 28. 2). The omission of 
ol KaTr}pdixevoL (or rather of kutt)- 
pdfievoi, for the ol is probably spu- 
rious) does not require special notice. 
2 The Old Latin version of Ire- 
nseus has in the first two quotations 
adiU, and in the last two discedite 
(Vulg.). The variation is not no- 
ticed by Lachmann. The words ^cop. 

and VTT. are confounded in Luke viii. 

3 Quis. Div. Sail'. § 13 (Semisch, 

P- 377)- 

How easily such a passage might 
be altered may be seen from Epi- 
phanius's quotation of the sentence 
of the just: 8tvTe e/c Se^twv /xov ol 
evKoyqixhoL ols 6 Trar'qp fxov 6 ov- 
pdvio$ ^Oero r^v ^aaiXelav it pb 
KaTa^oXrjs Kocr/xov eireivaaa yap Kal 
idivKari fiot (payelv' edixprjaa Kal eiro- 
Tiaari fie' yvp.vh% Kal irepie^dXeTi pie 
{adv. H(Br. LXI. 4). The whole form 
of the blessing is here changed. 

Justin himself has introduced 'the 
eternal fire ' into his reference to 
Matt. xiii. 42, 43, in Ap. I. 16. 

Dr Abbot (/. c. pp. loi ff.) has 
given a most instructive series of 
examples of the substitution of vird- 
yere for iropeOeade and of to otkotos 
TO i^iVTepov for to irvp to aiujviov in 
patristic quotations of the passage. 

Any one who has had the patience 
to go through the examination of 
these passages will be in a position 
to judge of the fairness of M. Reuss' 
statement : Toutefois il est remarqua- 



It would be easy to shew that the differences of Jus- 
tin's quotations from the Gospel-passages in the Clemen- 
tines are both numerous and striking^ Their coincidences 
however are so few and of such a character as to lend no 
support to the belief that they belong to a common type. 
A comparison of all the passages which are found in both 
books places their independence beyond a doubt; but it is 
enough that important variations have been noticed in 
texts which exhibit the strongest resemblances. That the 
Apocryphal Gospels should exhibit points of partial resem- 
blance to quotations made by memory from the written 
Gospels is most natural. They were not mere creations of 
the imagination, but narratives based on the original oral 
Gospel of which the written Gospel was the authoritative 
record. The same cause in both cases might lead to the 
introduction of a common word, a characteristic phrase, a 
supplementary trait. But there was this difference : in the 
one case these changes were limited only by the arbi- 
trary rule of each particular sect ; in the other they were 
restrained by an instinctive sense of Catholic truth, vary- 
ing indeed in strength and susceptibility, but related to 
the bare individualism of heresy as the fulness of Scrip- 
ture itself is related to the partial reflections of its teach- 
ing in the writings of a later age. 

The relation of Justin to the Apocryphal Gospels in- 
troduces the last objection which we have to notice. It 
is said that his quotations differ not only in language but 
also in substance from our Gospels: that he attributes 
sayings to our Lord which they do not contain, and nar- 

ble que plusieurs des citations de 
Justin, dont le texte differe du n6tre, 
se retrouvent litteralment (the italics 
are his own) dans d'autres ouvrages, 
par exemple dans les Clementines... 
{Hist, du Canon. ..^. 56). It is im- 
possible to ej^aggerate the mischief 

done by these vague, general state- 
ments, which produce a permanent 
impression- wholly out of proportion 
with the minute element of truth 
which is hidden in them. 

1 See Note D at the end of the Sec- 




rates events which are either not mentioned by the Evan- 
gelists, or recorded by them with serious variations from 
his account. It is enough to answer that he never does 
so when he proposes to quote the ApostoHc Memoirs. 
Like other early Fathers tradition had made him familiar 
with some few words of our Lord which are not em- 
bodied in the Gospels. Like them he may have been 
acquainted with details of His life treasured up by such 
as the elder of Ephesus^ who might have heard St John. 
But whatever use he makes of this knowledge, he never 
refers to the Apostolic Memoirs for anything which is 
not substantially found in our Gospels^ 

Justin's account of the Baptism, which might seem an 
exception to this statement, really confirms and explains 
it. It is well known that there was a belief long current 
that the Heavenly Voice addressed our Lord in the words 
of the Psalm which have been ever applied to Him, Thou 
art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee, Augustine 
mentions the reading as current in his time^; and the 
words are found at present in the Codex Bezae (D) and in 
the Old Latin Version*. Justin then might have found 
them in the manuscript of St Luke which he used; but 
the form of his reference is remarkable. When speaking 
of the Temptation he says : * For the devil, of whom I just 
.•'now spoke, as soon as [Christ] went up from the river 

^ Dial. c. 3 : ' 7ra\at6s tu irpecr^v- 

2 All the passages are given above, 
pp. 132 ff. 

3 August, de Cons. Evv. ir. 14 : 
Illud vero quod nonnulli codices 
habent secundum Lucam (iii. 11) hoc 
ilia voce sonuisse quod in Psalmo 
scriptum est Filius meus es tii, ego 
hodie genui te ; quanquam in anti- 
quioribus codicibus graecis non inve- 
niri perhibeatur, tamen si aliquibus 
fide dignis exemplaribus confirmari 

possit, quid aliud... This, it will be 
remembered, is in a critical work; 
elsewhere he quotes the words as ut- 
tered at the Baptism without remark : 
Enchiridion, c. 14 [XLix.]. Cf. Lectt. 
Varr. given in T. vi. p. xxiv. ed. 
Paris, 1837. 

4 Cf. Griesb. and Tischdf. ad Luc. 
iii. 22. The quotation of the words 
by Clement of Alexandria {Pad. i. 25) 
is omitted in Griesbach's Symbolcs 
Criticce (11. 363). 

Chap. ii. 

His account 
0/ the Bap- 

The Voice. 



Chap. ii. 

The Fire 
kindled in 
the Jordan. 

'Jordan — when the voice had been addressed to Him 

* Thotc art my Son, this day have I begotteji Thee — is de- 

* scribed in the Memoirs of the Apostles as having come to 
' Him and tempted Him so far as to say to Him Worship 
' me^! The words which are definitely quoted form con- 
fessedly a part of the Evangelic text : and it does not 
appear from the construction of the sentence that Justin 
cites the Memoirs as his authority for the disputed 

This apparent mixture of two narratives is still more 
noticeable in the passage in which Justin introduces the 
famous legend of the fire kindled in Jordan when Christ 
descended into the water. 'When Jesus came to the 
' Jordan where John was baptizing, when He descended to 
'the water both a fire was kindled in the Jordan, and the 
'Apostles of our Christ Himself recorded that the Holy 
' Spirit as a Dove lighted upon HimV Here the contrast 

^ Dial. c. 103 : KaX 'yb.p oiJros 6 
8id^o\os dua ti^ ava^rfvai airov oTro 
rod TTora/xov tov 'lopSdvov rrjs (puvrjs 
avTcp Xex^ficTT/s Tios /jlov el cr6, iyco 
<xrip.epov yeyivvrjKa ce' iu Tois diro- 
fx.VT]fjLove{)fxa(Xi. tO:v diroCToKuu yiypa- 
TTTai irpoaekdCiv ax)T(^ koI Treipd^uiv 
fxexpi TOV. direlv avri^ UpoaKvi'Tjaov 
fxoi. The same words are quoted 
again (c. 88) without any reference to 
the Memoirs. 

The words occurred in the Ebion- 
ite Gospel : Epiph. adv. Hcer. xxx. 
13. It is evident however that the 
narrative of the Baptism there given 
is made up from several traditions. 
That which it has in common with 
Justin must have been borrowed by 
both from some third source. Cf. 
Strauss, Leben Jcsti, i. 378 (Ed. 2, 
quoted by Semisch, p. 407, n.). 

2 Nothing depends upon this view. 
The textual authorities shew that the 
words of Ps. ii. formed part of St 
Luke's Gospel in MS S. of the second 

^ Eial. c. 88 : koI t6t€ iXOom-os 
TOV 'Itjo-qv iirl rov 'lopddvrju iroTajxbv 
yOa 6 'Iiodvvrjs i^dirri^e, KareXdovTOS 
TOV 'Irjaov iwl rb vbwp koL irvp duT]<f>d7j 
kv Tip 'lopddvji, Kal dvadvuTos airov 
dirb TOV v8aTo$ u)s irepicTTepdv Tb dyiov 
TTvevfxa eirnrTrjvaL err avrbv ^ypaxf/av 
oi diroaroXoL aurou tovtov tov j^piarov 
TifiCiv. The conjectural emendation 
dvi}(pdaL for dv7i<pdrj destroys the con-. 

In the Ebionite Gospel (Epiph. • 
/. c.) the legend is given differently: 
ws dvrjXdev dirb rov vdaros rjvol- 
yrjaav ol ovpavoi...Kai evdus Trepi- 
^Xafx^l/e Tbv rbirov <f>u)S txiya. 
Comp. Aiict. de rchapt. ap. Cypr. 0pp. 
Otto {ad loc.) quotes a passage from 
' a Syriac liturgy ' which may indi- 
cate the origin of the tradition : 
Quo tempore adscendit ab aquis sot 
indinavit radios stios. Justin ap- 
pears to be the only Catholic writer 
who alludes to the appearance ; 
unless the words of Juvencus mani- 
festa Dei prcesentia claret also refer 




is complete. The witness of the Apostles is claimed for 
that which our Gospels relate; but Justin affirms on his 
own authority a fact which, however beautiful and signi- 
ficant in the symbolism of the East, is yet without any 
support from the Canonical history*. 

The remaining uncanonical details in Justin are 
either such facts and words as are known to have been 
current in tradition, or natural exaggerations, or glosses 
on the received text generally suggested by some Pro- 
phecy of the Old Testament. 

He tells us that 'those who saw Christ's works said 
.* that they were a magic show ; for they dared to call 

* Him a magician and a deceiver of the peopled' The 
Gospels have preserved the simplest form of this blas- 
phemy ; and it survived even to the time of Augustine ^ 
Again in St Mark our Lord is called the Carpenter. The 
reading indeed was obliterated in the Manuscripts used 
.by Origen, for he denied that our Lord 'was ever Him- 
,'self called a Carpenter in the Gospels current in the 

* Churches*;' but it is supported by almost all the autho- 
rities at present existing. The same pride or mistaken 
reverence which removed the word suppressed the tra- 
dition which it favoured ; but it is characteristic of the 
earliest age that Justin speaks of -the Carpenter's works 

with Him : Exod. xxxiv. 

Chap. ii. 

to it. It is however to be observed 
that in Manuscripts of the Old Latin 
a gi a similar addition occurs : et 
CU771 baptizaretur {Jesus g^) lumen 
ingens circumfidsit (/. magnum ful- 
gebat g-^) de aqua ita ut timere^tt omnes 
qui advenerant {q. congregati erant 
g^). Compare also the addition of k 
to Mark xvi. 4. 

^. The details of the Transfigura- 
tion furnish an illustration of the 
passage. Light is the symbol of 
God's dwelling-place; Exod. xiv. 
20; I Kings viii. 1 1 ; i Tim. vi. i6. 
Light is the outward mark of special 



^ Dial. c. 69 : ol hh ical ravra 
dpQvrei yivdfxeva (papraaiav jJ.ayLKr}v 
ybeadat ^Xeyov Kal yhp fidyou elvai 
avrhv eT6\/MU}u X^yeiv Kal \aoir\dvQv. 
Cf. Ap. I. 30, and Otto's notes. 

^ August, de Cons. Evv. i. 9 : 
Christum propterea sapientissimum 
putant fuisse quia nescio quae ilhcita 

* c. Cels. VI. 36 : ovSafiov toov iv 
rats €KK\r}criais (f)epoixiv(i}v evayye- 
\lojv T^KTwv aiJroj 6 'It/ctoCs avayiypa- 


T/ie reinain- 
ing Apocry- 
phal refer- 
ences tn 


Matt. xii. 24 
xxvii. 63; 
John vii. 12. 

Mark vi. 3. 




* which Christ wrought when among men, ploughs and 
'yokes, by these both teaching the emblems of right- 
*eousness and [enforcing] an active life\' 

In addition to these details Justin has recorded two 
sayings of our Lord not found in the Gospels. * Our 

* Lord Jesus Christ said : In whatsoever I find you, in 
'this will I also judge you^' Clement of Alexandria 
has quoted the same sentence with slight variations, but 
without any distinct reference to its source^ In later 
times it was attributed to Ezekiel, or some Prophet of 
the Old Testament*; and though it was widely current, 
there is no evidence to shew that it was contained in 
any Apocryphal Gospel. It may have been contained 
in the Gospel according to the Hebrews^ ; but even if it 
were so, the tradition must have existed before the 
record, and may have survived independently of it. 
The same holds true of the other phrase, * Christ said : 
'There shall be schisms and heresies^' If it were not 
for the mode in which Justin quotes them, the words 
might seem a short summary of our Lord's warnings 
against the false teachers and false prophets who should 
deceive many. In the Clementines the two prophecies 

^ Dial. c. 88 : raSh-d ykp rk tck- 
ToviKCi ^pya elpyd^cTo iv avSpivirois 
uv dporpa Kal ^vyd, 8ia toijtuv Kal rd, 
TTJs biKaioaijvris avix^oKa bidddKuv Kal 
j-evepyij ^iov. Otto refers to the 
Arabic Gospel of the Infancy (c. 38) 
and to the Gospel of Thomas (c. 1 3) 
for similar traditions. The latter 
narrative {iiroieL dporpa Kal ^v- 
yo6s, said of Joseph) shews a re- 
markable coincidence of language 
with Justin. 

The statement which Justin makes 
(Dial. 17, 108, quoted by Eusebius, 
H. £. IV. 18) as to emissaries sent 
out by the Jews to calumniate the 
Christians, does not belong to the 

Evangelic history. 

2 Dial. c. 47 : 6 Tj/xirepos K^pios 
'IrjcroOs XpicTTos elirev' 'Ej/ oh dv 
Vfxds /caraXd/Sw iv toijtois kuI KpivQ. 
Cf. Otto, in loc. 

^ Clem. Quis Div. Salv. § 40. 

^ Semisch, p. 394. 

^ Cf. Credner, Beitrdge, i. ■247. 
Introduction to the Study of the Gos- 
pelst App. C, p. 426. 

^ Dial. c. 35 : elTre ydp...^<TOVTai 
ffX^fffxara Kal aip^aeis. Cf. 1 Cor. xi. 
18, 19. The passage is quoted by 
Justin between Matt. xxiv. 5 (comp. 
vii. 15) and Matt. vii. 15, and distin- 
guished from them. 




are intermixed : ^ There shall be, as the Lord said, false 
'apostles, false prophets, heresies, lusts of rule\' Lac- 
tantius also affirms that ' both Christ Himself and His 
'ambassadors foretold that many sects and heresies 
'would arise... V 

Elsewhere Justin generalizes the statements of the 
Gospels with what may seem natural exaggerations. 
' Herod,' he says, ' commanded all the male children in 
'Bethlehem to be slain without exception^;' yet he states 
in another place with more exactness that ' Herod slew 
'all the male children who were born in Bethlehem 
* about the time of Christ's birth*.' Again, when speak- 
ing of the calumnies of the Jews about the Resurrection, 
Justin not only gives the origin of the story as St Mat- 
thew does, but adds 'that they chose out men whom 
' they sent into the whole world to announce the rise of 
'a godless and lawless sect';' a statement which ex- 
plains the character of Christianity recorded in the Acts 
that it is everywhere spoken against. 

Chap. ii. 

Matt. vii. 15 
xxiv. 5. 


"^ Horn. XVI. 21 : ^aovrai yap, ws 
6 K^pioi elirev, yf/evhawb(XTo\oi, 
^euSels 'trpo<prJTai, ai/oeVets, <^Lkapx^o.i. 
The word \f/evbair6(7To\oL occurs like- 
wise in vSt Paul (2 Cor. xi. 13), in 
Hegesippus (Euseb. H. E. ^iv. 22), 
in Justin {/. c. avaaTJiaourai iroX- 
\ol \l/€vd6xpi<FT0i Kal \f/€vdair6- 

ffToXoi Kal TToWoilS TWV iriCTTUV 

TcXayi^a-ovai), in Tertullian {de Prce- 
scr. Haret. c. 4 quoted by Otto), 
and in other authors ; so that it may 
point to some traditional version of 
our Lord's words. Cf. Semisch, 
p. 391, anm. In Dial. 116 I can 
only see a reference to Zech. iii. 4 ff. 
taken in connexion with the thought 
of Apoc. vii. 9. 

2 Inst. Div, IV. 30 (Semisch, 
p. 393) : Ante omnia scire nos con- 
venit et ipsum et legatos ejus prse- 
dixisse quod plurimae sectae et haereses 

haberent existere quae concordiam 
sancti corporis rumperent. Cf. Ter- 
tull. /. c. where the passage is appa- 
rently referred to the text of St Paul. 

^ Dial. c. 78 : iravras airXQs roi/s 
iraWas Toi/s iv BridXe^fJi. cKiXeuaev dv- 

^ Dial. c. 103 : ['HpciSou] dvekhv- 
T0$ iravra^ toijs ev BrjdXe^fi iKeivov 
Tov Kaipov yevvrjdevTas irac8as. Ori- 
gen quotes the passage with some 
variations: irdura rk iraidia dvH- 
Xe TO. iv BrfdXe^/jL Kal ev { — Taai) 
Tois bplois auT7}S dirb dterovi k.t.X. 
Comm. in Matt. xvii. 11. 

^ Dial. c. 108 : &v8pa$ x^'P0''"<»''5- 
ffavres ^/cXeKTOi>s e^s irdaav tt]v 
olKOVfxivqv e-rriixypare KiqpiaaovTas 
8ti a'ipeais ris ddeos Kal &vofjios iy^- 
yeprai dirb 'ItjffoO Tivoi TaXiXalov 

M 2 

Acts xxviij. 

1 64 



Chap. ii. 

tn connexion 
ivith Pro- 

Is. xxxiii. 16. 

Zech. vi. 12. 
Nu. xxiv. 17. 


Is. Iviii. 2. 

Zech. xiii. 7. 
Mt. xxvi. 31. 
Is. liii. 


More frequently he adds an interpretation to the 
text which he quotes ; as when he says that Joseph 
'was of Bethlehem,' as though that were his native 
village, but Nazareth only his dwelling-place*; or when 
he speaks of 'the magi from Arabia^'. And this very 
commonly happens when the gloss is suggested by a 
Prophecy. Thus he alludes to the cave in which our 
Lord was born, because Isaiah had said He shall dwell 
in a high cave of a strong rock^. He speaks of the Star 
which rose in heaven, not mentioning the East^j appa- 
rently because our Lord Himself is described as the 
Day-spring (avaroXr]), the Star of Jacob. He tells us 
that the foal of the ass on which our Lord entered into 
Jerusalem was bound to a vine, as it was said of Judah 
that he bound his foal unto the vine^ : — that 'there was 
' no one not even one at hand to help Him [when 
' betrayed] as being without sin,' even as David had 
prophesied in the Psalm ^: — that the Jews when they 
mocked Him 'placed Him on a judgment-seat and said 
'Judge for us,' as Isaiah had complained, ' they ask of me 
' now judgment \'' — that 'His disciples who were with 
' Him were scattered till He arose®,' — that ' all His 
'acquaintance departed from Him and denied HimV 
referring to the prophecy of Zechariah quoted by St 
Matthew, and the picture of Christ's sufferings and lone- 
liness in Isaiah. 

Such is the analysis of Justin's quotations from the 

^ Dial. e. 78 : dTroypa^ijs ovarjs iv 
T7J 'lovdaig. t6t€ irpd,T7}S eirl Kvpr]viov 
dveXrjXvdei diro Na^aper ^uda (^jkcl 
els BrjdXe^fjt, 66ev tjv dvaypdipaadai. 

2 I)zal. I. c. and c. 106. 

^ Cf. p. 102, note 7. 

4 Dial. c. 106 ; 78. 

^ Ap. I. 32, Justin interprets the 
prophecy in the same way in Dial. 
c- 53, without affirming this particular. 

^ Dial. c. 103. 

'' Ap. I. 35. Comp, Abbot /. c. 
p. 50, who inclines to follow Prof. 
Drummond's suggestion that Justin 
took iKadiaev in John xix. 13 in an 
active sense (he sel Him on the judg- 
ment seat). 

^ Dial. c. 53. 

9 Ap. I. 50. 




Memoirs of the Apostles, of his various readings in 
Evangelic phrases, of his Apocryphal additions to the 
Gospel history. The process is long, but a full exami- 
nation of all the passages in question is the best answer 
to objections which appear strong because isolated in- 
stances are taken as types of general laws ; and the 
result to which it necessarily leads is full of strength 
and satisfaction for those who feel that the Catholic 
Church cannot have arisen from a mere fusion of dis- 
cordant elements at the end of the second century, and 
who still look anxiously and candidly into every docu- 
ment and every fact which marks the characteristics of 
its form and the stages of its growth. The details of 
Justin's quotations shew us something of the manner in 
which the Scriptures, and especially the Gospels, were 
used by the first Christian teachers, something of the 
variations which existed in different copies (of which 
other traces still remain), something of the extent and 
character of the oral records of Christ's life ; but they 
afford no ground for the belief that the Memoirs were 
anything but the Synoptic Gospels which we have, and 
they exhibit no trace of the use of any other Evangelic 
records. Justin lived at a period of transition from a 
traditional to a written Gospel, and his testimony is 
exactly fitted to the position which he held. He refers 
to books, but more frequently he appears to bring for- 
ward words which were currently circulated rather than 
what he had privately read. In both respects his witness 
to our Gospels is most important. For it has been 
shewn that his definite quotations from the Memoirs are 
so exactly accordant with the text of the Synoptists as 
it stands now, or as it was read at the close of the second 
century, that there can be no doubt that he was as well 
familiar with their writings as with the facts related in 

Ghap. ii. 


character 0/ 


No trace in 
Justin of 
the use 0/ 
any written 
other than 
our Gospels. 

1 66 


them. And the wide and minute agreement of his 
notices of the Hfe and teaching of our Lord with what 
they record of it proves that his knowledge of the Gospel 
history was derived from a tradition which they had 
moulded and controlled, if not from the habitual and 
exclusive use of the books themselves \ 

His coincidences with Heretical or Apocryphal nar- 
ratives have been proved to be not peculiar to him, but 
fragments of a wide-spread recension of the Canonical 
text. His simpler divergences from the received text 
have been illustrated by parallel examples of his quota- 
tions from the Septuagint and by recognized various 
readings in other authorities. 

On a comprehensive view, all is seen to lead to. the 
same conclusion. The lines which seemed at first to 
cross one another at random give a result perfectly com- 
plete and symmetrical when followed out in every case 
to their legitimate limit ; and thus, even judging from 
a mere critical analysis, it appears to be a fact beyond 
doubt that Justin used the first three Gospels as we use 
them, as the authentic memoirs of Christ's life and work. 

If we glance at his historical position we seem to gain 
the same result with equal certainty. He states that the 
Memoirs of the Apostles were read in the weekly ser- 
vices of the Church on the same footing as the writings 
of the Prophets ; or in other words that they enjoyed 
the outward rank of Scripture. And since he speaks of 
their Ecclesiastical use without any restriction, it is na- 

^ The relation between Justin's hibit the narrative in the simplest 

quotations and our Gospels is so in- form. At the same time it is evi- 

timate that they cannot have been dent that the original oral Gospel 

independent. The only alternative, could not have been so long pre- 

namely that the Synoptic Gospels served in its essential purity without 

embodied the oral Gospel as it was the counter-check of written Gospels, 

current in Justin's time, apart from The tradition and the record mu- 

historical considerations, is excluded tually illustrate and confirm one an- 

by the fact that the Evangelists ex- other. 




tural to believe that he alludes to definite books, which 
were generally regarded in the same light, and which 
had acquired a firm place in the common life of Chris- 
tians. He could not at any rate have been ignorant of 
the custom of the churches of Italy and Asia ; and if 
his description were true of any churches it must have 
been true of those. Is it then possible to suppose that 
within twenty or thirty years after his death these Gos- 
pels should have been replaced by others similar and 
yet distinct* t that he should speak of one set of books 
as li they were permanently incorporated into the Chris- 
tian services, and that those who might have been his 
scholars should speak in exactly the same terms of an- 
other collection as if they had had no rivals within the 
orthodox pale } that the substitution should have been 
effected in such a manner that no record of it has been 
preserved, while smaller analogous reforms have been 
duly chronicled ^.^ The complication of historical diffi- 
culties in such a hypothesis is overwhelming; and the 
alternative is that which has already been justified on 
critical grounds, the belief that Justin in speaking of 
Apostolic Memoirs or Gospels meant the Gospels which 
were enumerated in the early anonymous Canon of 
Muratori, and whose mutual relations were eloquently 
expounded by Irenasus. 

It appears then to be established both by external 
and internal evidence that Justin's ' Gospels ' can be 
identified with those of St Matthew, St Mark and St 
Luke. His references to St John are more open to 
question ; but this, as has been already remarked, fol- 

1 Cf. pp. 75 f. or when Theodoret substituted the 

2 As for example when Sera pi on Canonical Gospels for the Harmony 
reproved certain in the church at of Tatian, of which he found ' above 
Rhossus for the use of the Gospel of * two hundred in the churches.' 

St Peter (Euseb. H. E. vi. 12); 

1 68 



lows from the character of the fourth Gospel. It was 
unlikely that he should quote its peculiar teaching in 
apologetic writings addressed to Jews and heathen. But 
at the same time he exhibits types of language and 
doctrine, which seem to mark the presence of St John's 
influence and the recognition of his authority^ 

In addition to the Gospels the Apocalypse is the 
only book of the New Testament to which Justin alludes 
by name. Even that is not quoted, but appealed to 
generally as a proof of the existence of Prophetic power 
in the Christian Church^ But it cannot be concluded 
from his silence that Justin was either unacquainted with 
the Acts and the Epistles, or unwilling to make use of 
them. His controversy against Marcion is decisive, as to 
his knowledge of the greater part of the books, and 
various Pauline forms of expression and teaching shew 
that the Apostle of the Gentiles had helped to mould 

tween Justin's doctrine of the Logos 
and the Preface to St John's Gospel. 
Otto (p. 8i) also calls attention to his 
doctrine of the Eucharist as related to 
John vi. Compare also Just. Fragm, 
XI. ed. Otto, with Otto's note. 

It may be worth while to notice, 
since the contrary has been asserted, 
that Justin makes no mention at all 
of the Last Supper in Dial, m, still 
less does he contradict St John. In- 
deed his whole argument as to the 
correspondence of Christ and the Pas- 
chal lamb suggests that he, in agree- 
ment with St John, places the Cruci- 
fixion at the time of the sacrifice of 
the lamb, Nisan 14th. 

^ Cf. p. 121. Ap. I. 28 : 6 cipxft- 
y^Tyjs tCov kOlkCov ba.Lix6v(av 6({)ls ku- 
Xeirai kuI aaTavas aal 8cd^o\oi 
coincides remarkably with Apoc. xx. 
2. The other passage to which Otto 
refers {a. a. O. 1843, I. 42) Dia/. 
c. 45, Apoc. xxi. 4, seems more un- 

^ Cf. pp. 106, 107, n. 4. Justin's 
acquaintance with the Valentinians 
proves (as I believe) that the Gospel 
could not have been unknown to him 
{Dial. c. 35 ; comp. Aj>. i. 26). 

A fresh examination of the paral- 
lels to the Gospel of St John in the 
writings of Justin leads me to speak 
more confidently than before as to 
his use of the Fourth Gospel. 

In addition to the passage in Ap. 
I. c. 61 (John iii. 3 — 5) already no- 
ticed (pp. 151 f.), the following 
parallels are of importance : Dial. c. 
88 : John i. 20, 23. Dial. c. 29 : 
John V. 17. Dial. c. 105 : John i. 
14(18): iii. 16, 18. Comp. frao-m. 
ap. Iren. iv. 6, 2. Dial. c. 49 : John 
ix. Comp. Clem. Horn. xix. 22. 
Dial. c. 100 : John x. 18. Dial. c. 
91 : John iii. 17. Ap. i. 35 : John 
xix. 13 (?) and more especially Dial. 
c. 123: I John iii. i [KKr^dQi^iev koL 
iajxiv). Comp. Abbot, /. c. pp. 41 
ff. Lucke {Comm. ii. d. Ev. Joh. 
34 ff.) has shewn the connexion be- 




both his faith and his language\ Thus he says 'We 
' were taught that Christ is the first-borji {irpwroTOKO'^^ of 
' God : ' Sve have recognised Him as the first-born of 
' God and before all creatures : ' ' by the name of this 
' very Son of God and first-born of every creature [irpw- 
' TOTOKov TTcio-T}^ KTL(T6Ci)^). . .cvery demon is overcome...' 
'through Him God arranged (/coo-fjUTJcrai) all things^' 
Elsewhere he uses the example of Abraham to shew 
that circumcision was for a sign and not for righteous- 
ness, * since he, being in uncircumcision, for the sake of 
' the faith with which he believed God was justified and 
* blessed ^' 'By faith (tt la-ret) we are cleansed through 
'the blood of Christ and His death who died for this*;* 
'through whom we were called into the salvation pre- 
' pared aforetime by our FatherV 'Christ was the 
'passover who was sacrificed afterwards®:' 'who shall 
'come with glory from the heavens, when also the 
'man of the falling away- — the man of lawlessness (c. 
' 32), — who speaketh strange things — blasphemous and 
'daring (c. 32), even against the Most High, shall ex- 
'ert his lawless daring against us ChristiartsV Else- 

^ Otto, a. a. 0. 1842, II. pp. 41 ff. Cause, or as the spring (e/c) of justifi- 
The absence of all mention of the cation. 

4 Dial. c. 13. 

5 Dial. c. 131. 
^ Dial, cm; i Cor. v. 7 : cf 

Otto, a. a. O. 1843, I. 38 f. who 
refers to several other coincidences 
between the Epistles to the Corinth- 

name of St Paul can create no diffi- 
culty when it is remembered that 
Justin speaks of St Peter as 'iva r(hv 
dirocfToKwv, and of the sons of Zebe- 
dee as 6X\ovs 'hvo aoeX<povs. Dial. 
c. 106. 

2 Ap. I. 46 ; Dial. c. 100 ; Ap. ii. ians and Justin. Dial. c. 14 || i Cor. 
6 ; Dial. c. 85. Comp. c. 84, irpw- v. 8 : Ap. i. 60 || i Cor. ii. 4 f. 

rbTOKOv tG)v trdvTWv Troirj/xdtcju ; cf. 
Col. i. 15 — 17. 

^ Dial. c. 23 : Kal yhp airbs 6 

"^ Dial. c. no (cf. C. 32) J d6o 
■jrapovarlai avTOu KaTTjyyeKfxiPaL elal' 
fiia fxh iu ff TradrjTos Kal ddo^os kcU 

'A^padfji iu aKpo^varig, dSv Sia rrju drtfxo^ Kal aravpo'ufj.evos KeKTjpvKrai, 

iriaTLv rjv eiriaTevae Tip deep i8t- i] 5k bevfipa kv rj p,eTd do^rjs diro ruv 

Kaiudr} Kal evXoyijOr}. The depar- ovpavCov Trdpecrrat, Urav Kal 6 t^s 

ture from the Pauline point of view diroaTa&ias dvdpojiroi b Kal ets rbv 

is to be noticed ; faith is here repre- vxpiarov ^^aWa XaXQv eirl t^s 797s 

sented as the moving cause (5id ace), dvop-a roXprjari els -qpds Toi>s xp^o-Tta- 

and not as the instrumental {bidden.) vovs. Comp. 2 Thess. ii. 3 ff. 

Chap. ii. 




2 Thessalo- 




where he speaks of Christ as * the Son and Apostle of 

The most remarkable coincidences between Justin 
and St Paul are found in their common quotations from 
the Septuagint. It is possible indeed that these may 
have been derived from some third source, or grounded 
on a traditional rendering of the words of the Old 
Testament; but in the absence of all evidence of such 
a fact it is more natural to believe that the arguments 
of St Paul and the readings which he adopted were at 
once incorporated into the mass of Christian evidences, 
and reproduced by Justin so far as they fell within the 
scope of his works. One example will explain the na- 
ture of the agreement. Speaking of the hatred which 
the Jews shewed to Christians, Justin says to them that 
it is not strange ; * for Elias also making intercession 
' about you to God speaks thus : Lord, they killed Thy 
'Prophets^ and threw down Thy altars, a7id I was left 
' alone, and titey are seeking my life. And He answers 
' him : / have still seven thousand me7t who have not bent 
'knee to BaaPJ The passage agrees almost verbally 
with the citation of St Paul in the Epistle to the Ro- 
mans, and differs widely from the text of the LXX. 
Similar examples occur in other citations common to 

^ Ap. I. 12, 63 ; cf. Hebr. iii. i. 
The title is used nowhere else in the 
New Testament but in this passage 
of the Hebrews. Ottq also quotes 
two other parallels to the language 
of the same Epistle : Dial. c. 13 || 
Hebr. ix. 1 3 f. : c 34 || Hebr. viii. 7 f. 

The references to the Acts are un- 
certain. Cf. 4p' I. 49 II Acts xiii. 
27, 48. Otto, a. a. O. Still more 
so those to the Pastoral and Catholic 

'^ Otto, a. a. O. 1843, !• PP- 36 ff- 
Dial, c. 39 = Rom. xi. 3. i Kings 

xix. 10, 14, 18. In the LXX. the 
text stands in ver. 10, ^rfKCov i^rjXuKa 
T(^ Kvpi(^ iravTOKpoLTopi OTL iyKariXi.- 
TTQV ae {tt)v 5ia6r]K7]v aou v. 14, v. I. 
<re) oi uioi 'IcrpaT/X' (v. i4 + /cai) rb. 
dvcriaaT-^pid <xov KaricTKatpav [Kadei- 
\av V. 14) Koi Tovs Trpo(p-^Tas cov 
diriKTeLvav ev pofX(pai(f, Kal viroX^' 
XeifjLfiat iyu> fiovdiTaros Kal ^rjTovcri ttjv 
\}/vxw f^ov XajSeti' avTrju ...y. 18: 
KaraXdipeis iv 'laparjX iirra Xi^'<i5as 
dvdpujv, irdvTa ybvara A ovk UKXaaav 
yopv ry BdaX... 




Justin and the Epistles to the Galatians and the Ephe- 
sians^: and thus he appears to shew traces of the in- 
fluence of all St Paul's Epistles with the exception of 
the Pastoral Epistles and those to the Philippians^ and 

In the other writings commonly attributed to Justin 
besides the Apologies and Dialogue the references to 
the New Testament exhibit the same general range. 
In the fragment On the Resurrection there are allusions 
to words and actions of our Lord characteristic of each 
of the four Gospels^ without any trace of Apocryphal 
traditions ; and besides this there are coincidences of 
language with St Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, 
the Epistle to the Philippians, and the First to Timo- 
thy*. In the Address and Exhortation to Greeks there 
are apparently reminiscences of the Gospel of St John, 
of the Acts of the Apostles, and among the Epistles of 
St Paul of the First to the Corinthians and those to the 
Galatians and Colossian3^ 

A combination of these different results will give the 

^ These passages are ; 

Ap. I. 52 = Rom, xiv. 11. 
Dial, c. 27 = Rom. iii. 12— 

— c. 95= Gal. iii. 10. 
Deut. c. ()6 = Dial, iii. 13. 

— c. 39 = Eph. iv. 8. 

2 The reference of JDial. c. 12 to 
Phil. iii. 3 is very uncertain. 

St Matthew xxii. ■^9 fc. 



30 (c. 2); xxviii. 17 (c. 2), 
St Mark xvi. 19 (c. 9). 
This reference is uncertain, 
but the occurrence of the 
word ave\'i^<pdr), and the con- 
nexion of the Ascension with 
the appearance after the Re- 
surrection point rather to 
the present conclusion of St 
Mark than to the Acts or to 
St Luke. 

Isai. xlv. 23, 
■17. Ps. xiv. 3, 5, 10; cxxxix. 4. 
Deut. xxvii. 26. 
Gal. xxi. 23. 
Ps, Ixviii. 18. 

(7) St Luke xxiv. 38, 39, 42 
(c. 9). 

(8) St John xiv. 2, 3 (c. 9) ; xx. 
25» 27 (c. 9) ; xi. 25 (cf. 
c. i). 

* I Cor. XV. 53 (c. 10). Philipp. 
iii. 20 (cc. 7, 9). I Tim. ii. 4 (c. 8). 

^ John viii. 44; Cohort, c. 21. 
Acts vii. 22 ; Cohort, c. 10. i Cor. 
iv. 20; Cohort, c. 35. i Cor. xii. 7 
— 10; Cohort, c. 32. Galat. iv. 12, 
v. 20, 21 ; Orat. c. 5. Coloss. i. 16; 
Cohort, c. 15. 




general conclusion of the whole section. And it will be 
found that the Catholic Epistles and the Epistles to 
Titus and Philemon alone of the writings of the New 
Testament have left no impression on the genuine or 
doubtful works of Justin Martyr. 

But the evidence of Justin so far as it is preserved 
stops short of the conclusions of the next generation. It 
establishes satisfactorily his acquaintance with the chief 
books of the New Testament Canon, and his habitual 
use of them within the range covered by his extant 
writings. But on the other hand it does not offer any 
clear indications of his recognition of a definite collec- 
tion of Apostolic books parallel to the Old Testament 
and of equal authority with it. It is possible, and in- 
deed likely, that this defect may be due in some degree 
to the nature of the subjects with which he deals. His 
object was to establish a conviction on the first elements 
of the faith and not to develope Christian truth. The 
coincidence of the facts of the Gospel with the ancient 
Prophecies of the Jews furnished him with arguments 
which he could not have drawn from the essential cha- 
racter of the Apostolic teaching. For the rest the words 
of Christ rather than the precepts of His disciples offered 
those broad maxims of Christian morality which could 
be presented with the greatest effect to readers who 
were at best very imperfectly acquainted with the nature 
of Evangelic doctrine. 

• There are indeed traces of the recognition of an au- 
thoritative Apostolic doctrine in Justin, but it cannot be 
affirmed from the form of his language that he looked 
upon this as contained in a written New Testament. 
* We have been commanded,' he says, * by Christ Himself 
'to obey not the teaching of men but those precepts 
'which were proclaimed by the blessed Prophets and 




'taught by Himself \' But this teaching of Christ was 
not strictly limited to His own words, as Justin explains 
in another passage: *As [Abraham] believed on the voice 
' of God and it was reckoned to him for righteousness^ 
' in the same way we also when we believed the voice 
'of God which was spoken again by the Apostles of 
' Christ, and the voice which was proclaimed to us by the 
' Prophets, even to dying [for our belief], renounced all 
'that is in the world V Thus the words of the Apostles 
were in his view in some sense the words of Christ, 
and we are therefore justified in interpreting his language 
generally, so as to accord with the certain judgment of 
his immediate successors. His writings mark the era of 
transition from the oral to the written Rule^ His re- 
cognition of a New Testament was practical and not 
formal. As yet the circumstances of the Christian Church 
had not led to the final separation of the Canonical writ- 
ings of the Apostles from others which claimed more or 
less directly to be stamped with their authority^ 

Note A : see page ,123. 

Norton has brought forward some good passages from the first Apology 
(Note E, § 2) ; and Semisch has carried out the investigation with consider- 
able skill (pp. 239 ff.). Credner has collected Justin's quotations, and 
compared them elaborately with the MSS. of the LXX. It is superfluous to 
praise the care and ability by which his critical labours are always marked. 
The exact summary of Dr Sanday, The Gospels in the Second Century, pp. 
4 1 ff. must be added to the earlier authorities. 

The following Table of the more remarkable instances of the freedom of 
Justin's quotations from the Old Testament, where the variations cannot be 

1 Dial. c. 48. 

2 Dial. c. up : tv yhp rpoirov e/cet- 
ros T17 ^cuvf/ Tod deov €Tr[<XT€v<xe...Kal 
7)/JLHS TTJ (puvrj Tov deov TTJ Sid re TWV 
cLTTOcrToXu'v TOO 'KpKTTOv 'XoKfjO elarj ird- 
Xlv Kal Trj 81.CL tQiv irpocprjrCov Krjpvxdd- 
CT) rjfuv TTLdTeiaavTes fJ-^XP'- "^^^ dirodvi]- 
CK€iv irdcTL TOis ev Tt^ Kocrpni} aTrera^d- 
/xeda. Thus the Christian Gospel is 

in some sense a * republication ' of the 
Gospel of the Prophets, and an obvi- 
ous analogy is suggested between the 
book of the Prophets in relation to 
the Lawgiver and that of the Apostles 
in relation to Christ. 

3 Compare pp. 52 f.. 

* Justin's scholar Tatian will be 
noticed below in Chap. iv. § 10. 



Chap. ii. explained on the supposition of differences in MSS., will be useful to those 
who wish to examine the question for themselves : 



Free quotations, giving the 

sense of the original text : 

Gen. i. 1—3 

Apo/. I. 59 

— iii. 15 

I>ia/. c. 102 

• — vii. 16 

— c. 127 

— xi.5 

— — 

— xvu. 14 

— c. 10 

Exod. iii. i ^'c. 

Apol. I. 63 

— xvii. 16 

Dial. c. 49 

— XX. 4 

— C.94 


— c. 20 

i Sam. vii. 14 sqq. 

— c. 118 

I Kings xix. 14 sqq. 

— c. 39 

Job i. 6 

— c. 79 

Ezra vi. 21 (?) 

— c. 72 

Isai. i. 7 

Apol. I. 47 
Dial. c. 55 



— c. 82 

— lii. 10 

— c. 27 

— V. 25 

— c. 133 


Apol. I. 35 

— XXXV. 5 sqq> 

48. Cf. Matt. xi. 5 

— xlii. 16 

Dial. c. 122 

— liv. 9 

— c. 138 

— lix. 7,8 

— c. 27 

— Ixvi. I 

— c. 22 

Jerem. vii. 21, 22 

— — 

— xxxi. 27 

— c. 123 

Ezek. iii. 17 — 19 

- C.82'' 

— xiv. 20 

— c- 45 

— xxxvii. 7 

Apol. I. 52 

Hos. i. 9 

Dial. c. 10 

Joel ii. 28 
Zech. ii. 6 

- C.87 

Apol.i. SI 

— . xii. 10 sqq. 

— — 

Adaptations of the text : 

Gen. XXXV. i 

Dial. c. 60 

Exod. iii. 5 

Apol. I. 62 

Numb. xxi. 8, 9 



Dial. c. 94 

Deut. xi. 16 sqq. 

— c. 49 

— xxi. 23 

— c. 96. Cf. Gal. iii. 13 

— xxvii. 26 

— c. 95» Cf. Gal. iii. 10. 

— xxx. 15, 19 

Apol. I. 44 

(7) Combinations of different passages : 

1. Isai. xi. I, 10 ) aj. T , 
Numb.xxiv. 17! ^Mi.3^ 

2. Psalm xxii. 17 — 19) g 

— iii- 5 i ^ 




liii. 8 

Isai. liii. 12 

— lii- 13- 
Zech. ii. 6 
Isai. xliii. 5 
Zech. xii. 1 1 sqq. 
Joel ii. 13 

Isai. Ixiii. 17 

— Ixiv. II 
Ezek. xxxvii. 7 
Isai. xlv. 23 
Exod. iii. 2, 14, 
Isai. vii. 10 — 16 

— viii. 4 

— vii. 16, 17 
Jerem. ii. 13 
Isai. xvi. I 
Jerem. iii. 8 

A^ol. I. 50 
Apol. I. 52 


Dial. cc. 43, 66, Cf. c. 77. 

— c. 114 

It will be noticed that the free quotations are found almost equally- 
distributed in the Apology and the Dialogue, being chiefly short passages 
for which it was not unreasonable to trust to memory : that the adapta- 
tions are probably confined to the Pentateuch — the typical history of the 
establishment of Israel : that the combinations are almost peculiar to the 
first Apology, and consist of Prophecies fitted together according to the 
connexion of sense. 

These passages will serve to illustrate the general principles of Justin's 
method of citation. In the following note will be found a table of the texts 
which he quotes more than once, from which may be seen the amount 
of verbal accuracy with which he contented himself* 

Note B : see page 126* 

A general view of the passages which Justin quotes more than once will 
give a better idea of the value of this argument than anything else. 
The following list is I believe fairly complete. The sign || indicates agree- 
ment in the citations between which it stands ; K difference ; K K dif- 
ference from both the forms before given ; v, I., vv. IL, mark the existence 
of one or more various readings apparently of less importance. 

Gen. i. I, 2 

— iii. 22 

— XV. 6 

— xviii. I, 2 

— — 13. 14 sqq. 

— xix. 24 

— xxviii. 14 

— xxxii. 24 

— xlix. 10 

— — II 
Numb. xxiv. 17 
Prov. viii. 21 — 25 

Ap. I. 59 II Ap. I. 64 V. 1. 
Dial. 62 II Dial. 129 

— 92. Cf. c. 119 

— 56 II Dial. 126 vv. 11. 

— 56 II — 126 vv. 11. 

— 56 K — 127. Cf. c. 

— 54- 


120 v. 1. 
Cf. c. 126 

1 Dial. 120 K Ap. I. 32 {avToKe^d), 
54. Cf. Credner, Beitrdge, 11. pp. 
51 sqq. 
Cf. c. 76 
Ap. I. 32 K Dial. 106 
Dial. 61 11 — 129 vv. 11. 



Chap. ii. 

Ps. i. 3 

^/. I. 40 II Dial. 86 

— ii- 7, 8 

— — II — 122 

— iii. 5 

— 38 K — 96 

— XIX. 2—5 

— 40 11 — 64 ; 42 (ver. 4) 

— xxii. 16, 18 

— 35 K Ap. I. 38 K K Dial. 98 

— xxiv. 7 

Dial. 36 11 Dial. 127 K c. 85 K K ^A I- 5r 

— xlv. 6 — 17 

Dial. 38 II — 63 V. 1.; 56 (vv. 6, 7); 86 

(v. 7) 

— Ixxii. 1—5, 17- 

-19 Dial. 34 K — 64 K K c. 121 (v. 17) 

— xcvi. I — 4 

— 73. Cf. Ap. I. 41 (i Chro. xvi. 26 ff.) 

— xcix. 1 — 7 

— 37 II Dial. 64 vv. 11. 

— ex. 1—3 

— 32 II Ap. I. 45 (but 'le/). for ^lwv) 

. Isai. i. 3 

Ap. I. 37 (Xaos ii.ov) II Ap. I. 63 V. 1. (Xaos /te) 


— 53 K Dial. 140. Cf. Dial. 55 

16 — 20 

— 44 II Ap. I. 61 (omitting v. 19) 


Dial. 82. Cf. c. 27 

— ii. 5, 6 

— 135. Cf. c. 24 

— iii. 9, 10, II 

— 17 II Dial. 133 V. 1.; c. 136 

— V. 18 — 20 

— — II — —y.\.\y^Ap. I. 49 (v. 20) 

— vi. 10 

Dial. 12K — — 33. 

— vii. 10 — 17 1 

— viii. 4 ) 

- 43 II ——(>(> vv. 11. 

- xi. I 

Ap. I. 32 (Cf. Numb. xxiv. 17) K Dial.^i 

• — xxix. 13 

Dial. 78 K Dial. 27 K K c. 140 diapp^Sv) 

— — 14 

Dial. 32 K — 78 K K c. 38 K K K c, 1^3 

— XXXV. 4 — 6 

^/.i.48 K — 69 

— xlii. I — 4 

Dial.insK Dial, iss 

— Iii. 15 — liii. I sqq. Ap. i. 50 || — 13 vv. 11. 

— Iv. 3—5 

Dial. 12 K — 14 

— Ivii. I, 2 

Ap. I. 48 II — 16 vv. 11. 

— Ixiv. 10 — 12 

— 47 K — 25 K Ap. I. 52 (v. 11) 

— Ixv. 1—3 

^/.l.49K — 24 

— Ixvi. I 

— 37 II — 22 

Ezek. xiv. 20 

Dial. 45 K — 44 K K c. 140 

Dan. vii. 13 

AP.I.51X — 31 

Micah V. I, 2 

— 34li — 78 

Zech. ii. 1 1 

Dial.ij^K — 119 

Mai. i, 10 — 12 

Dial. 28 II — 41 vv. 11. 

The only passage of any considerable length which exhibits continuous 
and important variations is Isai. xlii. i — 4. Cf. Credner, ii. 210 sqq. 

It will be noticed that the number of texts repeated with verbal accuracy 
is very small. 

Note C : see page 149. 

Though I am by no means inclined to assent without reserve to the 
judgment of Bornemann on D, yet it seems to me to represent in important 
features a text of the Gospels, if not the most pure, yet the most widely 
cui-rent in the middle or at least towards the close of the second century. 
This is not the place to enter into a discussion of the extent of its agreement 
with the earliest Versions and Fathers. It is sufficient to have the result 
indicated which seems to follow from it. The MS. was probably written 
about A.D. 500 — 550, but it was copied from an older stichometrical MS., 




which in turn was based upon another older still. Compare Scrivener, 
Bezce Codex Cantab. Introd. p. xxxiii. : Credner, Beitrage, i. 465. 

In Luke xv., to take a single chapter as an illustration of the statement 
in the text, the following readings are found only in D and d (the accom- 
panying Latin version), 

ver. 4. 6s ?^et. 

7. ovx ^xo*^<^* XP^'-^^ (order). 

9. rds yelrova^ Kui <pi\as (order). 

13. iavToO Tov ^lov for tt)u oijaiav avrov. 

21. b bk wos etirev avT<^ (order). 

23. €v4yKaT€...Kal dvaare for ^^p€T€...dvcraT€, 

24. dprc evpidrj. 

27. TOV aetrevTou fxbcrxov aur^J (omitting however aury aa^ z'«//.) . 
[28. ijp^aTo (? irapaKoKeiv) coepit rogare Vulg.] 

29. ipKpov ki, aiyibv for ^pi^ov {haedum de capris d.). 

30. r$> 5^ vli^ (TOV T(^ KacpaydvTi (sic) wavTa p^ra rwv ToppQv 
Kal iXdoPTL ^dv(ras tov <x.p,. Comp. the reading of e. 

These readings it is to be remembered are found in a MS. of the Cano- 
nical Gospels. Is it then incredible that Justin's quotations were drawn 
directly from another, which need not have differed more from the common 
text ? For other reasons it seems highly improbable that it was so, but not 
from the character of the variations which they consistently preserve. 

The greater interpolations of D are well known. Examples may be 
found in Matt. xx. 28 ; Luke vi. 5 ; xvi. 8 ; Acts xv. 2 ; xviii. 26, 27 ; &^c. 
Credner has examined many of the readings of D {Beitrage, i. 452 ff.) 
but he has by no means exhausted the subject. See also Scrivener, ib. 
pp. xlviii. ff. 

The peculiar readings of D arfe the best known and in many respects the 
most remarkable of those found in MSS. of the Canonical Gospels ; but 
readings of a like character occur in considerable numbers in other of the 
most ancient Greek MSS., as for instance in Cod. Smait. in i John, and in 
copies of the oldest Versions, as a e k of the Vetus Latina, and in the 
Curetonian Syriac, which happens to be the only copy of the Vetus Syra 
preserved to us. 

Similar readings are also found in Greek and Latin MSS. of a much 
later date. Compare Scrivener", Codex Augiensis, pp. xl. ff. One of the 
most remarkable instances of a peculiar form of text in a detached narrative 
has been lately brought to light in a fragment of the ixth century discovered 
in the Library of Trin. Coll. Cambridge (W^). It was found by Mr White, 
the Assistant Lil^rarian, in the binding of a MS. which came from Mount 
Athos. The little scraps of which it is made up when rightly fitted together 
give the text of Mark vii. 30 batp-oviov — viii. 16 ort dpTovs with the excep- 
tion of a few words, and about six other isolated verses of the same Gospel 
(vii. 3, 7, 8; ix. 2, 7, 8, 9). The larger fragment is of great interest, and 
as it has not been published it may be well to give the text of the first para- 
graph (ch. vii. 31 — 37), which contains one of the very few passages peculiar 
to St Mark : 

Kai TToXiv e^eXOuv d7r[o t]c5 
opcwv Tvpov /cat St5[ wi/jocr 
rjkdev €L<r ttjv da\a[(Ta]au 
TTjcr Ta\i\aia(r ava pLe\(To'\v 
tuv opLiov TT]<x A[€/ca7roXe] 

C. N 



wo- + /cat (pepov<xiv avTU 
K(j}(pov /cat /MoyyiXaXou 
. /cat irapeKokovv avrov 

IV xetpacr + /cat (omitting either rad or auroj) 

eiriXa^ofxepoa avTov airo 
Tov ox^ov /car idiav eirrv 
aev €L(r rover SaKTvXova av 
TOV Kat e^aXev eta ra wtol 

TOV KO}(pOV.'Kai TjXpaTO 

T7}(T yXdio'cracr tov /xoyyiXa 

\ov + /c[at] ava^Xerpaa- e[ia-] top 

Qvvov [a\ve(XTeva^ev /cat 

Xe7et avru) + €(p(pada a e<r 

TLV 8[Lai']vx[0]vTi' iio.1- 5t I evdeuff 

Tjvoix^rjcrav avTov at a/co 

at /cat Toi; /xoyyiXaXov eXv 

TTja yX (avTov probably omitted) 

eXaXr) opdoja + /cat StearetXaTO 

av[T]oi(T iva ix't)btvL Xeyuatv 
Oao[v 5]e avToi<y dieaTeXXeTO 

alvrjot fjLaXXou 7repicr<roTe 

p(t3[<r €]Kr]pvcr<xov KaL irav 
Tecr [eii'\€irX'qa(TovTO XeyovTeff 

[/caX]a)(r iravTa Trotet touo" • 

Kii}(pov<x TToiet aKoveiv 

KaL Tov(T aXaXova XaXecu. 

Thus we have in the space of seven verses, though there is no parallel 
narrative to disturb the text, the following readings in this Manuscript 
which are found nowhere else : 

vii. 31. {Lirh tCov bpioov. 

32. irapeKdXovv. 

33. iiTTvaev els Tods Sa/cri^Xous aiTou /cat ^^aXev els to. WTa tov 

K0}(f)0v Kal ■fj\}/aTo ttjs yXdjaaas (sic) tov /xoyyiXdXov. 
35. Kal TOV /xoyytXaXov. 
37. Kal irdvTes e^eirXi'iaaovTO. 


Nor are the peculiarities confined to this one narrative. In the remain- 
ing verses the following readings are found in this Manuscript alone : 

[vii. 8. dcpivT^s — dvdpwTTOJp omitted by homoeoteleuton.] 

viii. I. avp[ax]d^vros for ovtos. 

— 4. x^P'^°'-<^°-i- '25e (order), 

ix. 2. /j.eTafjiop<povTai. 

— 7. dyairrjTos ov e^eXe^dp.rjv. (Cf. Luke ix. 35, not Rec.) 

In addition to absolute peculiarities there are also about ten other 
readings which it gives in common with one or two other Manuscripts. 

Of the peculiar readings one it will be observed contains a repetition of 
a peculiarity (vv. ^^, 35, the emphatic tov pLoyyiXdXov) ; and another (ix. 7) 
is an adaptation of a familiar biblical phrase to a new connej^ion. Thus we 
find within the compass of a few verses in a comparatively late MS. of the 
Canonical Gospels phenomena similar to those presented by the most 
remarkable of Justin's Evangelical quotations. All the fragments which 




remain of the early variations of the text of the Gospels are full of instruc- 
tion ; but it is wholly needless to have recourse to unknown or uncanonical 
books for details which were probably introduced from tradition into our 
Canonical texts as soon as they were embodied in Apocryphal Gospels, 
if in fact they did ever find a place in the latter. 

Note D: see page 156. 

An examination of the following passages common to Justin and the 
Homilies will shew how their citations differ : 

Matt. iv. 10 


viii. 21 

Dial. cc. 103; 125 

— V. 39, 40 


XV. 5 

ApoL I. 16 

cf. Lu. vi. 29 

Matt. vi. 8 

— 15 

— vii. 15 


iii. 55 

— 16; DiaLc. 35 

— viii. II 


xi. 35 

Dial. c. 76 

— X. 28 


vii. 4 

Apol. I. 19 

— xi. 27 


xviii. 3 

— 63; Dial. c. 100 

— xix. 16 


— 4 

— 16; C. lOI 

Luke vi. 36 


iii. 57 

— 15; — c. 96 

— xi. 52 


— 18 

— T7 

See Chap. iv. 

Chap. ii. 

§ 8. The Secojtd Epistle of Clement. 

The so-called Second Epistle of Clement offers a re- 
markable example of the transitional view of the New- 
Testament Scriptures which has been observed in Justin. 
The former part of it together with the First Epistle is 
found at the close of the Alexandrine MS. of the Greek 
Bible, where it is reckoned among the books of the 
New Testament. The recent discovery of the close of 
the work^ places its character beyond doubt. It is a 
Homily (§§ 19, 20) and not a Letter. Its date is fixed 
most reasonably in the second quarter of the second 
century. In ancient times it seems to have been very 
little read and in itself it has little merit, but it is of 
great interest as the first example of its type of compo- 

^ Published first by Philoth. Bry- was shortly afterwards (1876) pur- 
ennios at Constantinople in 1875. A chased at the sale of M. Mohl for the 
Syriac translation of the two Epistles University Library at Cambridge. 

N 2 

The Second 
Ep. of Cle- 
ment in the 
Alex. MS. 
probably a 




Chap. ii. 

A Gentile 

sition. It may owe its connexion with the genuine 
Epistle of Clement to the fact that it was probably- 
addressed to the Corinthian Church (§ 7), and, like 
Clement's Epistle, read there probably from time to 
time\ Eusebius is the earliest writer who mentions it, 
and he observes that it was ' not so well-known as the 
^ former one ; ' while from the tenour of his language it 
is evident that he questioned its genuineness ^ Jerome 
distinctly states that 'it was rejected by the ancients/ 
though it is uncertain whether he had any independent 
evidence for his assertion'; at a later time Photius re- 
peats the same statement, and adds some unfavourable 
criticisms on the character of the book*. 

But however little claim the writing may have to the 
Canonical authority which was sometimes assigned to it 
in consideration of its supposed authorships there can be 
nd doubt that it was an early orthodox Christian composi- 
tion of a date not much later than the middle of the 
second century. And it is of the greater interest because 
the writer is a Gentile and addressing Gentiles. The 
peculiarities of Justin's quotations have beeri connected 
more or less plausibly with his supposed Ebionitic con- 
nexions and tendencies ; but no such explanation is ad- 
missible in this case. If it were allowable to assume the 
existence of any special tendency in the writer it would be 
towards the Gospel of the Uncircumcision; but on the 
contrary he speaks as the confident exponent of catholic 

^ Lightfoot, Clement of Rome, p. 

2 Euseb. H. E. 11 1. 38 : lar^ov 5' 
ws Koi devT^pa tis elvat X^yerai, toO 
KXrjfjLtvTos itncTToX'/}' ov fxrju id^ 
o/jLoLws Tjj TTpoT^pg, Kal Ta(n-r)v yudb- 
pifxov iTTLardfieda, 6tl [irjbk /cat roi)s 
apxo.lovi avry Kexpvf^^fovs 'l(T[X€V. 

^ Hieron. de Virr. III. c. 13 : 
Fertur et secunda ejus nomine epi- 

stola, quse a veteribus reprobatur. 

^ Photius, Biblioth. pp. 156, 163 
(ed. Hoesch.). 

^ As in the Cod. Alex., the Apo- 
stolic Canons^ Can. 76 (85), Alexius 
Aristenus ad Can, Apost. I. c, though 
not, as some writers have said, in 
Johannes Damascenus, de Fid. Orth. 
IV. 17. See App. D. No. v. 




truth, and his evidence may be received as the natural 
expression of the usage not of a party but of the age. 

The chief scope of the Homily is an exhortation 
towards the perfection of Christian life. It is addressed 
to Christians, and therefore the fundamental doctrines 
of the faith are assumed. The importance of works is 
insisted on, not that they may earn salvation, but be- 
cause Christ ' saved us ' when ' He saw that we had no 
'hope of salvation except that which comes from Him\' 
'We must not think meanly of our salvation,' such is 
the opening of the discourse, ' we must think of Jesus 

* Christ as God, as the Judge of quick and dead.' ' Our 

* reward is [that He will confess us] if we confess Him 
'through whom we were saved ^.' To quicken the per- 
ception of the need of this confession and to dwell on 
the necessity of holiness is the immediate purpose of the 
argument, as it must be with every preacher, but no 
phrase occurs which points to holiness as necessary other- 
wise than as the condition of realising salvation. 

In support of his teaching the writer appeals to the 
Old Testament^ and to the words of the Lord. Though 
the writings of the Apostles would have furnished him 
with almost every phrase which he needs, yet he never 
appeals to any one of them as of primary authority. 
And this silence was not due to ignorance and still less 
to any divergence from Apostolic doctrine. He was, as 
it appears, acquainted with the writings of St Paul, St 
James and St John*, and he incorporates their thoughts 

^ c. i. borrowed. The passage contains 

2 c. iii. a striking coincidence with 2 Peter 

3 The very remarkable anonymous iii. 4. 

reference {X^7et 6 wpocprjTLKbs \670s, ^ For St Paul see especially 

c. xi.) to some Apocryphal book of c. vii. : e/s roiis ^daproi/s dyCovas 

the Old Testament (? a Book of KaTa-wkiovaiv iroWol d\X ol iravres 

Enoch) is found also in Clem. Ep. (rrecpauodPTai el firj oi iroWa Koind- 

I. 23, from which it may have been o-a^'xes koL kuXQs dyupiadfievoi k.t.X. 

Chap. ii. 

Its scope. 

Use of 




Chap. ii. 

of the Lord's 

and words into his Homily in a manner which shews 
that they had become his own. He speaks of the Scrip- 
tures generally (as it seems) under the title ' the Books 
and the Apostles ' (c. xiv. to, jBi^Xia teal oi dTrocrToXoi)^ 
placing a kind of distinction between them. Up to his 
time the New Testament had no certain and defined 
existence as coordinate with the Old. The full extent 
of the teaching which it ratifies was received : the ele- 
ments of which it consists were known and recognised : 
but its actual authority was not formally or consciously 
acknowledged, though the Gospel at least was quoted 
as * Scripture/ and as part of ' the oracles of God ' 
(c. xiii. ra \6jia tov 6eov), and, as will be seen in the 
next sections the 'Scriptures of the Lord' were formed 
into a collection and distinguished from other Christian 

The form of the quotations may have been influ- 
enced in part by the character of the writing. In a 
Homily it is more natural to quote the Gospels as the 
words of Christ than as the narrative of the Evangelist. 
But after due allowance has been made for this usage 
enough still remains to shew the freedom which was popu- 
larly allowed near the middle of the second century in 
dealing with Evangelic references and the influence still 
exercised by Apocryphal records. Of ten passages cited 

as compared with i Cor, ix. 24. c. 
xix. : iaKOTi^Tfjieda ttjv dLavorav Eph. 
iv. 17 f. Comp. c. xiv. 

c. ix. : Set ovu rifids cos vahv Qeov 
(f>v\dacr€tu T7]v adpKa. i Cor. iii. 16; 
vi. 19. 

c. xi. I Cor. ii. 9 ; the Septua- 
gint gives quite a different render- 
ing. To these may be added c. i. : 
dTTodifievoi €K€ivo TrepiKei/xeda p^(pos. 
Hebr. xii. i. 

For St James see c. xv. : fxia-Obs 

diroWv/x^vrju diroarpi^pai ds rb (Tiadrj- 
vai. James v. 20. 

For St John see c. ix. : els Xpi- 
arbs 6 Kvpios 6 awaas rj/xois tJj/ fj,ky rb 
TTpQiTov irvevfxa iy^vero cdp^ /cat 
ovrws Tjiid^ iKaXeaev. John 1. 14. 

c. xvii. : oval tjixlv 6tl av ^s Kal ovk 
ySeifj-ev Kal ovk iiriaTevofxev. John viii. 
24, 28. Compare also the phrases 
^yvu/x(v 5t' avTou tov irar^pa ttjs dXij- 
6elas (c. iii.), TrapaKXrjTos (c. vi.). 

^ See page 191, n. 2. 




from the Lord's teaching two only are referred to writ- 
ten sources. After quoting a passage of Isaiah with the 
same application of it as is made by St Paul\ the writer 
continues, 'And moreover another Scripture saith / 
' carjie not to call righteous men but sinners'^ ;' a saying 
which is exactly contained in St Matthew and St Mark. 
'The Lord saith in the Gospel/ he adds in another, 
place, * If ye kept not that which is small who will give 
' you that which is great } For I say unto you ^hat he 
'that is faithful in very little is faithful also in much^' 
Of this passage the last clause occurs verbally in Sf 
Luke xvi. 10, but the first part is not found in our 
Gospels. There is however some evidence to shew that 
it was once an alternative rendering of Luke xvi. 11, 
as it is quoted in the same form in the early Latin 
translation of Irenaeus *, though no Latin text of the 
Gospel at present preserves it. Of the anonymous quota- 
tions only one agrees verbally with our present Evan- 
gelic text, and that with St Luke^ Another passage, 
introduced by the remarkable words * God saith/ appears 
also to be freely quoted from St Luke^ Two or perhaps 
three others are free renderings of sayings preserved by 
St Matthew. ' [Christ] says Himself: Him that confesses 

^ Is. liv. i: Gal. iv. 27. The pas- 
sage is taken verbally from the 

2 c. ii. : KoX iripa 5k ypatpT] \4yei 
firt ovK rjXdov Kakiaai biKalovs aXKb. 
ajxapTiSKovs. The words occur Matt. 
ix. 13; Mark ii. 17. In the parallel 
passage of St Luke (v. 32) el% fierd- 
voiav is added, in which form it is 
quoted in Barn. Ep, c. v., and Just. 
M. Ap. I. 15. 

It will be remembered that a pas- 
sage of St Matthew is quoted as 
' Scripture ' by Barnabas : see p. 62. 

^ c. viii. : X^7ei 70^ 6 Ky^toj h rip 
ciayyeXlciJ' Et rd fUKphv oCk enjpi^- 

(rare, rb fxiya ris vfuv Scicrei ; \iyot} 
yap Vfuv oTL 6 ttuttos eu €\axi<TT(^ 
Kal iv TToWif TTiaTos ia-Ttv. On the 
use of TO evayy fKiov see p. 113, n. 2. 

^ c. H(2r. II. 34. 3. 

^ c. vi. : Luke xvi. 1 3, oySeij ol- 
KiTrjs dOparai 8v(rl Kvpiois SovXeijeiv, 
and just afterwards deep dovXeijeip Kal 
jxaixtavq.. In Matt. vi. 24 cIk^ttjs is 
not found. 

^ c. xiii. : o& x^P*-"^ ^f^^" ^^ ayaTare 
rods dyairuvTas v[xa%, dXXd x^P*-^ ^'f^^'' 
el ayairdre roiis ix&povs fxr} roi/s fii- 
a-ovvras vfids. Compare Luke vi. 32, 

Chap. ii. 


1 84 

Chap. ii. 



'me in the face of men will I confess in the face of my 

* Father\' 'For what is the profit if a man shall gain 

* the whole world and lose his souP ? ' ' Let us not there- 
fore only call Him Lord, for this will not save us; for 
' he says, Not every one who saith to me Lord,-J^ordy shall 
' be saved, but he that doeth righteousjiess^ ' 

The remaining four quotations are unquestionably 
derived from Apocryphal sources so far as their form is 
concerned, though they have points of close connexion 
with the Canonical writings. * For this reason the Lord 
' said : Should you be gathered with me in my bosom, 
' and not do my commandments, I will cast you away, 
'and will say to you: Get you from me: I know yon not 
'whence ye are^ workers of lawlessness ^' 'The Lord 
' says ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves. But 
' Peter answering says to him : [What] then if the wolves 
' should tear the lambs in pieces ? Jesus said to Peter : 
' Let not the lambs fear the wolves after their death ; 
' and fear ye not those who kill you and can do nothing 
' [more] to you : but fear Him who after you are dead 
' has power over soul and body to cast them into hell 
' fire^' We have no data for ascertaining whence these 

^ c, iii. : X^7et 5^ koX aurdj tov 
oixoXoyqcravTCi ixe epdiirtov tG}v 
avdpwTTbJv ofMoXoyr/ffO} airov iuJ}- 
TTLOv TOV 7raT/j6s fiov. Compare 
Matt. X. 32. No closer parallel is 

^ c. vi.: rl yap to o^eXos iav tis 
Tou o\ov Kbajxov Kepdi^arj ttjv d^ xf/v- 
XW flf^^^^V'y compare Matt. xvi. 
26. The phrase tL [to] o^eXos is 
found in James ii. 14, 16, and i Cor. 
XV. 32. 

^ c. iv.: ...X^yet yap' Ov ttSs 6 X^- 
ycou fjLot K6pL€ KvpL€ (Tcodija-eTai. ctXXA 
d TTotcDcT^j' 8iKaio(Tip7)v. Compare 
Matt. vii. 21. No closer parallel is 

^ c. iv. ...ihv ^T€ /Jt,eT ifiov avv- 

•rjyfiivot iv ry KSXirq) fioO Kal fxr] 
iroirJTe ras ivToXds /jlov, dvo^a' 
\u> u/iSs Kal epoj vfuv'TTrdyeTC air 
ifxoO' ovK ol8a vfias irbOev ^(ttc ipyd- 
Tai dvofxlas. Compare Matt. vii. 
23; Luke xiii. 27. The words are 
very variously quoted, but nowhere 
else in this form. 

^ c. v. : X^yet yiip 6 K6pios' "Ece- 
ade ws dpvla iv fiiccfi Xijkwv. 'Atto- 
Kpidels 8i 6 UiTpos avT<^ Xiyei' 'Edv 
ouv biaairapd^ujcnv ol \vkol tcl dpvia; 
Elirev 6 'l7}(rovs Tip UiTpcp' Mr] (po- 
^eiado}<Tav to. dpvia toi>s \6kovs fieTk 
TO dtrodaveiv auTd' Kal vfieis ixtj <po- 
^etade Toi/s aTroKTivvovTas v/jloLs koI 
fiTjd^v v[uv dwa/xivovs iroulv dWb. 
(po^eicrde t6v fieTo. to dirodavelv v/xds 




passages were taken. Their length and style seem to 
indicate that they were derived from writings and not 
from oral tradition, but whether they were taken from 
any of the numerous Apocryphal Gospels, or from Tra- 
ditions like those named after Mathias, or Expositions 
like that of Papias, is wholly unknown. The two quota- 
tions which are still left can be certainly connected with 
two Apocryphal Gospels, even if they were not imme- 
diately taken from them. ' The Lord said : My bre- 
' thren are these who do the will of my Father\' The 
idea of the passage is contained in St Matthew, but 
the turn of expression, which is noticeable, recurs in 
a quotation made by Epiphanius from the 'Ebion- 
' ites,' and it cannot be doubted that the writer of the 
Homily derived it from some such source. The re- 
maining quotation is much more remarkable. ' The Lord 

* Himself having been asked by some one When His 
' kingdom will come ? said, When the Two shall be One, 

* and that which is Without as that which is Within, and 
'the Male with the Female neither Male nor Femalel' 
This passage Clement of Alexandria, who also quotes 
it, says 'was contained, as he believed, in the Gospel 
' according to the Egyptians' 

It is however of comparatively little moment from 
what special source the sayings were derived, for there is 
no reason to believe that they were taken from any one 

^Xovra' i^ovaiav xl/vx'O^ Kal aJjfiaros ol Trotovures rb. deXyifxara tov ira- 

Tov ^aXelv els yeivvav irvpbs. Com- r/)6s fiov. For the plural rd, de\ri- 

pare Matt. x. 16, 28; Luke x. 3 ; /uaro see Cod. B Mark iii. 35; and 

xii. 4, 5. No other trace of the con- also Cod. 8< Matt. vii. 21. 

versation is preserved. ^ c, xii.: iirepujTrjOeis yap ai^ros 

1 c. ix. : eiTref Kijpios 'A8eX0o/ Kipios virb tlvos irbre rj^et avrov ij 

/MOV ovToi el(Tcv oi TToiovvres rb di\r)txa fSaaiXela elirev "Orav ^arai tcl 8vo ^v, 

TOV irarpos fiov. Compare Matt. xii. Kal to ^^o) cos t6 ^ao}, Kal Tb dpaev 

50. The passage quoted by Epi- ywerct r^s OrjXelas ovre apaev ovtc 

phanius from the Ebionites — it is not 6rj\v. Compare Galat. iii. 28. Cf. 

said from what exact source — is : ov- Introduction to the Study of the Cos- 

Toi daiv ol dd€\(pol fiov Kal rj fJ^rjTrjp pets, p. 427 n. 

1 86 


book\ The majority of the quotations are more like 
passages of the Canonical text than any other known 
record, and the two which are connected with other 
books are connected with books which appear to have 
been widely different in scope and character. No ques- 
tion therefore arises whether a Gospel was used which 
occupied the place of the Canonical Gospels. The phe- 
nomenon to be observed is that these were not re- 
garded as the sole record of the teaching of the Lord. 
The feeling which led men to the words of Christ still 
survived even when the record of them had received 
the name of Scripture. It was not confined to any 
one party, but was common to all : to the Gentile no 
less than to the Jewish Churches. And it co-existed 
with that spirit Avhich found its fitting expression in the 
next generation, and finally separated our four Gospels 
from all others both in popular use as well as in intrinsic 
and recognised authority^ 

1 It may be noticed in particular xvii. 5 ; Just. Ap. i. 19. 
that they differ from corresponding c. vi.: Lukexvi. 13; Clem. Recogn. 

passages in the Clementines. Com- V. 9. 
pare c. v.; Matt. x. 28 : Clem. Hom. 

2 The quotations which occur in the two Epistles to Virgins assigned to 
Clement, which are preserved in a Syriac translation, deserve more notice 
than they have received, and this will be the most convenient place for call- 
ing attention to them. The Epistles in question were first published by 
Wetstein as an Appendix to his New Testament in 1752. He found them 
in a Manuscript of the Syriac New Testament written at Mardin in 1469, 
which he obtained from Aleppo. The Manuscript contains all the books of 
the Syrian Canon with the Ecclesiastical Lections, and as an Appendix the 
remaining four Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2, 3, John, Jude) and the two 
Epistles of Clement to Virgins (Wetstein, Proleg. ill. iv.j. The Apocalypse 
is not contained in it. No other known Manuscript, as far as I am aware, 
contains the Epistles, so that like the two Greek Epistles they depend upon 
a single copy. 

It would be impossible to enter into the question of the authenticity of 
the Epistles, which has found a zealous advocate in their latest editor. Card. 
Villecourt. They cannot I believe be much later than the middle of the 
second century, and it is hardly probable that they are much earlier. The 
picture of Christian life which they draw belongs to a very early age ; and 
I the comparison of the use made of Scripture in them with that made by 




Clement in his genuine Epistle shews that a considerable interval is required 
for a satisfactory explanation of the difference of manner. 

As in all the writings which have been examined hitherto so here the 
mass of quotations is anonymous; but it is hardly too much to say that 
whole paragraphs of these Epistles are a mosaic of Apostolic phrases. Some 
of the references to the Christian Scriptures however are more explicit, 
though no book of the New Testament (nor yet of the Old) is mentioned 
by name. Thus *the divine Apostle' is cited for the condemnation in 
2 Thess. iii. 11 ff., i Tim. v. 11^. The words in 2 Cor. xi. 29 are quoted 
as 'words of the Apostle^;' and Rom. xiv. 15 and r Cor. viii. 12 as *say- 
' ings of Paul-'^.' ' It is written,' it is said again, ' of the Lord Jesus Christ, 

* that when His disciples came and saw Him conversing apart near a well 

* with the Samaritan woman, they wondered that he talked with a woman ^.' 

* We read,'' it is said in the same chapter, *that women ministered to the 

* Apostles and to Paul himself^.' Other passages are quoted with the for- 
mulas applied to Scripture from i Peter, James, Romans, i Corinthians, 
Colossians, Hebretvs, and 2 Timothy^. 

The anonymous quotations extend over a wider range and include pas- 
sages from St Matthew, St Luke {Ep. i. 3, 6; ii. 15), St John {Ep. 1.8, 13; 
II. 15), Acts {Ep. I. 9), I Peter, James, i John {Ep. II. 16), and probably 
from all the Epistles of St Paul, including Hebrews, except that to Phile- 
mon (for Titus see Ep. i. 4). 

There are not however any quotations out of St Mark, 2 Peter, 2, 3 John, 
Jude, and the Apocalypse. This is by no means surprising with regard to 
St Mark. The comparative fewness of the Evangelic citations in the two 
Epistles and the small number of peculiarities in his Gospel render it 
extremely unlikely that any passage certainly derived from it should have 
been found. The same may be said, though with far less likelihood, of the 
shorter Catholic Epistles ; but if the writer had been acquainted with the 
Apocalypse he could hardly have failed to quote such a passage as xiv. 4, 
which has the closest connexion with his argument. 

In general it will be observed that (with the obviously accidental omis- 
sion of St Mark and Philemon) quotations are made from every book 
included in the Syrian Canon and from these only. The fact is significant, 
and probably points to the country whence the Epistles derived their 
origin, though it is clear from internal evidence that they were originally 
written in Greek. 

One indication of the early date of the Epistles may be noticed in addi- 
tion to the anonymous form of the quotations. The enumeration of the 
primary authorities binding on the Christian is given in the form *the Law 
*and the Prophets and the Lord Jesus Christ'',' just as it was given by 
Hegesippus, as we shall see afterwards. But while the formula witnesses 
to the antiquity of the record, the usage of the writer shews convincingly 
that it did not exclude the fullest recognition of the authority of St Paul 
and of the Three. 

Compare Lardner's Dissertation (Works, Vol. XI. pp. 197 ff. ); and 
Card. Villecourt's Dissertatio Prcevia reprinted by Migne, Patr. App. i. 
355 ff. Beelen, S. dementis Epp. ii. de Virginitate, Lovanii, 1856. 

1 Ep. r. 10; II. 13. "^ Ep. I. 12. 3 Ep. II. 5. 

4 Ep. II. 15 ; John iv. 27. * Ibid. Cf. Rom. xvi. i, 2, &*c. 

^ Ep. I. II (James iii. 2; 1 Peter iv. 11); i. 8 (Rom. viii. 9); I. 6(1 Cor. iv. 16. 
c. II. and Ep. 11. 13); I. 11 (Coloss. iv. 6); i, 6 (Hebr. xiii. 7); i. 3 (2 Tim. iii. 5). 
7 Ep. I. 12. 


1 88 


§ 9. Dionysitis of Corinth and Pinytus. 

Ecclesiastical usage prepared the way to the recog- 
nition of the authority of the New Testament. It has 
been shewn from the testimony of Justin Martyr that 
the reading of the Memoirs of the Apostles^ formed part 
of the weekly service of Christians : two fragments of 
Dionysius of Corinth throw light upon this usage. Dio- 
nysius appears to have been bishop of Corinth at the 
time of the martyrdom of Justin^: and the passages 
in question are taken from a letter to Soter bishop of 
Rome. His testimony is thus connected both chrono- 
logically and locally with that of Justin. There is no 
room left for the accomplishment of any such change 
in the organization of the Church as should cause their 
words to be applied to different customs. 

* To-day was the Lord's-Day [and] kept holy,' Dio- 
nysius writes to Soter, * and we read your Letter ; from 
' the reading of which from time to time we shall be 
' able to derive admonition, as we do from the former 
' one written to us by the hand of Clement ^' There 
are several points to be noticed here : it is implied that 
the public reading of Christian books was customary — 
that this custom was observed even in the case of those 
which laid no claim to Canonical authority — that it 

1 p. 113. 

2 Hieron. de Virr. III. c. 27: Cla- 
ruit sub Impp. L. Antonino Vero et 
L. Aurelio Commodo. Routh (i. p, 
177) fixes his death about 176, when 
Commodus began to reign jointly 
with his father. 

3 Euseb. H. E. I v. 23 (Routh, p. 
180) : Triv (xrfjxepov ovv KvpcaKrjv aylau 
i)fj,ipav dirjydyofJLev, iv y dviyvufieu 

Vfi(2v rrjv iwi(TTo\r]u' -^v ^^o/xeu del 
TTore dvayivdcTKOVTes vovderelcrdaL ws 
Kal Trjv nrpoT^pav 'Qpu.v did KXTj/uLevros 
ypacfielaav. The plural pronoun (u- 
ixwv) is to be noticed. Cf. p. 57, and 
n. I. 

The first clause is somewhat ob- 
scure. If KvpiaKrjv be not a gloss, 
dyiav yjfxipav must be taken I think as 
a predicate, as I have translated it. 




had been practised from the ApostoHc age. Tertullian 
in a well-known passage^ appeals to the copies of the 
Epistles still preserved by the Churches to which they 
were first written. The incidental reference of Dionysius 
shews that he is not using a mere rhetorical figure. If 
the Letter of the companion of Apostles was treasured 
up by those whom it reproved, it is past belief that 
the Churches of Ephesus or Colossae or Philippi should 
have received, as Apostolic Letters addressed to them- 
selves, writings which were not found in their own ar- 
chives, and which were not attested by the tradition 
of those who, had received them. The care which was 
extended to the Epistle of Clement would not have been 
refused to the Epistle of St Paul. 

Dionysius it is true says nothing in this passage 
directly bearing on the writings of the New Testament ; 
but in referring to the ecclesiastical use of Clement's 
Epistle he proved that the Corinthian Church must have 
retained throughout the doctrine of St Paul, to whose 
authority it gives the clearest witness. And not only 
this, but so far as the Epistle of Clement was found 
to be marked by a peculiarly Catholic character^, the 
reception of that document is in itself a proof of the 
perpetuity of the complete form of faith which it ex- 
hibits. The Catholicity of the Corinthian Church is 
indeed expressly affirmed in another fragment. Just 
as Clement appealed to the labours of St Peter and 
St Paul, placing them in clear and intimate connexion ^ 
Dionysius describes the Churches of Rome and Corinth 
as their joint plantation. ' For both,' he says, ' having 
*come to our city Corinth and planted us, taught the 
* like doctrine ; and in like mafiner having also gone to 

1 de PrcEScr. Haret. c. 36. 

2 Cf. pp. 24 ff. : see also p. 207. 

3 Clem, ad Cor. i. 5. 

1 90 



' Italy and taught together there, they were martyred 
'at the same time\' 

The intercourse of Dionysius with foreign Churches — 
his 'inspired industry' as it has been called '"^ — gives an 
additional weight to his evidence. Besides writing to 
Rome, he addressed ' Catholic Letters' to Lacedaemon 
and Athens and Nicomedia, to Crete and to Pontus, for 
instruction in sound doctrine, for correction of discipline, 
for repression of heresy ^ The glimpse thus given of 
the communication between the Churches shews their 
general agreement, and the character of Dionysius con- 
firms their orthodoxy. There is no trace of any wide 
revolution in doctrine or government — nothing to sup- 
port the notion that the Catholic Creed was the result of 
a convulsion in Christendom, and not the traditional 
embodiment of Apostolic teaching. 

There were indeed heresies actively at work, but their 

1 Euseb. I/.E.U.2S (Routh, /. c. )-. 
Tavra (al. Ta6T'{j) koL vfieis dca r^j 
ToaavTT]^ vovdealas ttjv airh Wirpov 
KoL WaxiKov <pvTeiav yepvi^de'ia-av ' Pw- 
fxalwv re koL KopivOlujv avveKepdaare. 
Kol yap dficpct) kuI els tt]v i]/jL€T^pav 
Kdpivdov (pVTevaavTes rip.ds ofjLoius iSi- 
da^aV ofJLoiojs 5^ koL els ttjv 'IraXlav 
oixSae didd^avres efxaprvptjaav /card tov 
avTou Kaipov. It is difficult to fix the 
exact sense of Oytto^ws and opibce in the 
last clause. I believe that dfioius is 
to be taken with the whole sentence 
and not with Sidd^avres, and that 
ofidae expresses simply 'to the same 
'place.' Bishop Pearson's interpreta- 
tion (Routh, p. 192) seems to rest on 
false analogies. 

2 Euseb. //. E. IV, 23 : hdeos (pi- 

^ Euseb. /. c. The description 
which Eusebius gives of the Letters 
accords with what might have been 
conjectured of the characteristic 
faults of the- churches. 'H /xh irpbs 

AaK edai fioviovs 6p6o8o^ias ^ar77X'7''"tKT7, 
elpr}VT]s T€ /cat evojcrews VTroderiKyj ' 
7] 8^ Trpos'Adrjvalovs diepyeTiKrjiriaTecjs 
Kal TTJs Kara to evayy^Xiov TroXireias 
...dXXri dL..7rp6s Nt/co/i7j5^as (p^perai 
iv 77 TTJV MapKiwyos aipeaiv iroXe/jLuv 
T(^ T17S dXr)6eias irapiaTarai Kav6vi... 
The Cretan churches he warns against 
'the perversion of heresy,' and cau- 
tions Pinytus bishop of Gnossus 
against imposing continence. The 
churches of Pontus — the home of 
Marcion — he urges to welcome those 
who came back to them after falling 
into wrong conversation or heretical 
deceit. From these casual traits we 
can form a picture of the early Church 
real and life-like, though differing as 
widely from that which represents it 
without natural defects as from that 
which deprives it of all historical unity. 
There is nothing to shew what 'the 
' divine scriptures ' were of which he 
added expositions in his letter to the 
Church at Amastris. Euseb. /. c. 




progress was watched. Some of their leaders ventured 
to corrupt orthodox writings, but they were detected. 
* When brethren urged me to write letters,' Dionysius 
says, ' I wrote them; and these the apostles of the devil 
'have filled with tares, taking away some things and 
'adding others, for whom the woe is appointed' (comp. 
Apoc. xxii. 18). ' It is not wonderful then that some 
'have attempted to adulterate the Scriptures of the 
' Lord (toSz/ KvptaKwv ypacj^oov), when they have formed 
'the design of corrupting those which make no claims 
'to their character (rat? ov TOLavrac<; [sic] iTri/Se^ou- 
' X-eu/cacrt) \' It is thus evident that 'the Scriptures of 
'the Lord' — the writings of the New Testament^ — were 
at this time collected, that they were distinguished from 
other books, that they were jealously guarded, that they 
had been corrupted for heretical purposes. The allusion 
in the last clause will be clear when it is remembered 
that Dionysius according to Eusebius ' warred against 
' the heresy of Marcion, and defended the Rule of truth' 
{Traplaraadac Kavovi aXTjOela^y, The Rule of Truth and 

^ Euseb. I.e. : 'E7rt(rro\as "yap a5e\- 
<f>Cjv d^iuiaavTuv jxe ypd^at 'iypa^pa' 
Kal Tauras oi rod Sia^oXou d7r6(rTo\ot 
^L^aviwv yeye/xtKUv, a [xkv e^atpovvres 
d bh irpocTTi.dei'Tes, oh to oval KeXrai. 
ov doLVixaarov dpa el Kal t(Su KvpcaKcov 
padiovpyTJaal rives [rivas Routh] evi- 
^e^Xrivrai ypacpQv, oirore Kal racs ov 
TOiaijTats eTTL^e^ovXevKaa-i. It is men- 
tioned that Bacchylides and Elpistus 
urged him to write to the churches of 
Pontus (Euseb. L c.) ; it is then pos- 
sible that he alludes to the corruption 
of this very letter by the Marcionites. 
The parallel thus becomes complete. 
Th€ New Testament Scriptures and 
the letters of Dionysius were cor- 
rupted by the same men and for the 
same purpose. 

2 al KvpiaKal ypacpai form the cor- 

relative to al 'lovSalkal ypa^al (comp. 
p. 95). The phrase is just one of 
those which naturally indicate a be- 
lief not expressly stated. Of course 
it is not affirmed that the collection 
here called al KvpiaKal ypacpai was 
identical with our 'New Testament,' 
but simply that the phrase shews 
that a collection of writings belong- 
ing to the New Testament existed. 
The whole usage of KvpiaKos in Chris- 
tian writers is decisive against the 
application of the word to the Scrip- 
tures of the Old Testament in this 
connexion. The comparison of the 
title of the work of Papias 'Koyiiov 
KvpiaKwv €^T]yrj<ns with this definite 
phrase al KvpiaKal ypacpai is full of 

2 Cf. p. 190, note 3. 




Chap. ii. 

of language 
with sepa- 
rate books. 

Apoc. xxii. 
18, 19. 
I Th. ii. II. 

Fragment of 

Heb. V. 12 — 

The value of 
these frag- 

the Rule of Scripture, as has been said before, mutually 
imply and support each other. 

The language of Dionysius bears evident traces of 
his familiarity with the New Testament. The short 
fragment just quoted contains two obvious allusions, one 
to the Gospel of St Matthew and one to the Apocalypse; 
and in another passage he adopts a phrase from St 
Paul's first Epistle to the Thessalonians\ 

One sentence only has been preserved of an answer 
to his Letters, but that is marked by the same spiritual 
tone. The few words in which Pinytus asks for further 
instruction tend to shew that the familiar use of Apo- 
stolic language was a characteristic not of the man but 
of the age. He urges Dionysius to 'impart at some 
' time more solid food, tenderly feeding the people com- 
' mitted to him with a Letter of riper instruction, lest by 
' continually dwelling on milk-like teaching they should 
'insensibly grow old without advancing beyond the 
' teaching of babes^' The whole passage is built out of 
the Epistle to the Hebrews ; and throughout the Letter, 
Eusebius adds, the orthodoxy of the faith of Pinytus 
was most accurately reflected. 

If our records be scanty, at least they have been 
found hitherto to be harmonious. It may seem of little 
importance to note passing coincidences with Scripture ; 
and yet when it is observed that all the fragments which 
have been examined in this section do not amount to more 
than thirty lines, they prove more clearly than anything 
else could do how completely the words of the Apostles 

1 Euseb. /.r. :...T0i)5 a»'t(5»'Tas aSeX- icravdis top vir avr^ Xaou virodpi- 

(poi/s cos riKPa iraT-rjp (ptXoCTopyos \pavTa, cJs fx-q biareXovs tois yaXa- 

(cf. Rom. xii. 10) irapaKaXcov. KTwdecriv eudtaTfjijSovres \6yois ry 

^ Euseb. I. c. '....avTiirapaKoKei 5k yTjwcujdeL dyor/y Xddoiev KaTayrjpd- 

areppoT^pas ^67; ttot^ fxeradidouai aayres. Cf. Hebr. v. 12 — 14. 
Tpo'pTjs TeXeiOT^pois ypdp.fxa<7i.p 




were infused into the minds of Christians. They offer 
an exact parallel to modern usage in quoting the New 
Testament, and so far justify us in attributing our own 
views of the worth of the Apostolic Scriptures to the 
first Fathers ; for as they treated them in the same 
manner as we do, they could hardly have rated them 
less highly. 

§ 10. Hernias, 

As We dfaw nearer to the close of this transitional 
period in the history of Christianity, it becomes of the 
utmost importance to notice every sign of the intercourse 
and harmony of the different Churches. In the absence 
of fuller records it is necessary to realise the connexion 
of isolated details by the help of such general laws as 
are discoverable upon a comparison of their relations. 
The task, however difficult, is not hopeless ; and in pro- 
portion as the induction is more accurate and complete, 
the result will give a more trustworthy picture of the 
time. Even when a flood has covered the ordinary 
landmarks, an experienced eye can trace out the great 
features of the country in the few cliffs or currents which 
diversify the waters. This image will give a fair notion 
of the problem which must be solved by any real History 
of the Church of the second century. There is a fact 
here, a tendency there : and little is gained by describing 
the orie or following the other, unless they are referred 
to the solid foundation which underlies and explains 

This is not the place to attempt to give any outline 

of the history of Christianity. But it is not the less 

necessary to regard the different elements which meet 

at each crisis in its course. For the moment Rome is 

c. o 

Chap. ii. 

A general 
view of the 
to the right 
criticism of 

The condi- 
tion o/the 
Church 0/ 
Rome at t!ie 
middle 0/ 
the second 



our centre. The metropolis of the world becomes the 
natural meeting-place of Christians. There, at the mid- 
dle of the second century^, were to be found representa- 
tives of distant churches and of conflicting sects.- At 
Rome Justin the Christian philosopher opened his school, 
and consecrated his teaching by his martyrdom. At 
Rome Polycarp the disciple of St John conferred with 
Anicetus on the celebration of Easter, and joined with 
him in celebrating the Eucharist ^ At Rome Hegesip- 
pus a Hebrew Christian of Palestine completed, if he 
did not also commence, the first History of the Church. 
On the other side it was at Rome that Valentinus and 
Cerdo and Marcion sought to propagate their errors, 
and met the champions of orthodoxy. Nor was this 
all: while the attractions of the Imperial City were 
powerful in bringing together Christians from different 
lands, the liberality of the Roman Church extended its 
influence abroad. ' It has been your custom,' Dionysius 
of Corinth writes to Soter, ' from the first to confer 
' manifold benefits on all the brethren, and to send sup- 
' plies to the many churches in every city . . . supporting 
'moreover the brethren who are in the mines;... in this 
'always preserving as Romans a custom handed down 
' to you by your Roman forefathers ^' Everything points 

^ The space might be limited even 
more exactly to the Episcopate of 
Anicetus (157 — 168 A.D.). Hegesip- 
pus came to Rome during that time, 
and Valentinus was then still alive 
(Euseb. H. E. I v. 22 ; Iren. ap. Eu- 
seb. H. E. IV. 1 1 ). The Proverbs of 
Xystus (c. 119 A. D.), published in a 
Syriac translation by Lagarde {Anal. 
Syr. I — 31), probably represent a 
still earlier activity in the Roman 
Church. It is difficult to say how 
far the book is genuine in its present 
form. Y.^2i\d [Gott. Gel. Anz., 1859, 
pp. 261 fF., and Gesch. vii. 321 ff.) 

attributes the highest value to it, and 
places it among the most precious 
relics of early Christian literature. It 
contains no definite references to the 
New Testament, but shews certain 
traces of the influence of the thoughts 
and language of the Synoptic Gospels, 
of St James and of St John (espe- 
cially Ep. i.). The influence of St 
Paul is less marked. Comp. Ewald 
//. cc. 

2 Iren. ap. Euseb. H. E. v. 24. 

^ Dionys. ap. Euseb. H.E. IV. 23. 
Routh, I. p. 179. 




to a constant intercourse between Christians which was 
both the source and the fruit of union. Heresy was at 
once recognised as such, and convicted by Apostolic 
tradition. The very differences of which we read are a 
proof of the essential agreement between the Churches. 
The dissensions of the East and West on the celebra- 
tion of Easter have left a distinct impress on the records 
of Christianity ; and it is clear that if the Churches had 
been divided by any graver differences; of doctrine, 
much more if their faith had undergone a total revolu- 
tion, some further traces of these momentous facts would 
have survived than can be found in the subtle disqui- 
sitions of critics. Once invest Christianity with life : let 
the men whose very personality seems to be lost in the 
fragments which bear their name be regarded as busy 
workers in one great empire, speaking a common lan- 
guage and connected by a cornrr^on work : and the 
imaginary wars of Judaizing and Pauline factions with- 
in the Church vanish away. In es^qh city the doctrine 
taught was ' that proclaimed by the Law, the Prophets 
*and the Lord\' 

These general remarks seem to bq necessary before 
any satisfactory examination can be made of the writ- 
ings of Hermas and Hegesippus, which are commonly 
brought forward as unanswerable proofs of the Ebionism 
of the Early Church, and therefore of the impossibility 
of the existence of any Catholic Canon of Holy Scrip- 
ture. But even if it were to be admitted that those 
Fathers lean towards Ebionism, the general character 
of their age must fix some limit to the interpretation 
of their teaching. The real explanation of their pecu- 
liarities lies however somewhat deeper. While the true 
unity of the early Churches is to be most firmly main- 
1 Hegesippus ap. Euseb. H. E. iv. 22. Cf. p. 194, note i. 

O 2 

Chap. ii. 

combined in 




Chap. ii. 

The charac- 
teristics of 
the Roman 

by the Shep- 
herd of 
Hermas.--, I 

The history 
0/ the Shep- 

Rom. xvi. 14. 

evidence of 
its date. 

tained, yet nothing can be more alien from the right 
conception of this unity than to represent them all as 
moulded in one type, or advanced according to one 
measure. The freedom of individual development is 
never destroyed by Catholicity. The Roman Church, 
in which we have seen collected an epitome of Chris- 
tendom, had yet its own characteristic tendency towards 
form and order. Of this something has been said al- 
ready in speaking of Clement^; but it appears in a sim- 
pler and yet maturer form in the Shepherd of Hennas, 
the rtext work which remains to witness of its progress. 

This remarkable book— =a threefold collection of 
Visions, Commandments and Parables — is commonly 
published among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, 
and was for some time attributed to the Hermas saluted 
by St Paul. Evidence however both internal and ex- 
ternal is decisive against a belief in its Apostolic date ; 
and the mode in which this belief gained currency is 
an instructive example of the formation of a tradition. 
The earliest mention of the Shepherd is found in the 
Muratorian Fragment on the Canon to which we shall 
soon revert^ The anonymoiJs author says : * Hermas 
' composed the Shepherd very lately in our times in 
' the city of Rome, while the Bishop- Pius his brother 
' occupied the chair of the Roman Church'.' The same 
statement is repeated in an early Latin poem against 
Marciorl, and in a letter ascribed to Pius himself*. It 

1 Cf. p. 26. 

2 See below, § il. 

^ Pastorem vero nuperrime tem- 
poribus nostris in urbe Roma Hefma 
[Hermas] conscnpsit, sedente [in] 
cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiee Pio 
episcopo fratre ejus. Et ideo legi 
eura quidem oportet : se publicare 
vero in ecclesia populo neque inter 
Prophetas completum [completo] nu- 

mero neque inter Apostolos in finem 
terrtportim potest. The Fragment is 
given at length in App. C. 

4 Cf. Routh, I. p. 427; Hefele, 
p. Ixxxii., where the authorities are 
given at length. The objections urged 
against this evidence by Dr Donaldson 
[History of Christian Literature, I. 
pp. 259 f.) simply rest on the fact that 
the Muratorian Fragment as well as 




comes from the place at which the book was written, 
and dates from the age at which it appeared. There is 
no interval of time or separation of country to render 
it uncertain, or suggest that it was a conjecture. But 
the character of the book and its direct claims to in- 
spiration gave it an importance which soon obscured 
its origin. The protest of the anonymous author just 
quoted shews that this was the case even in his time. 
' It should therefore be read/ he adds, ' but it can never 
* be publicly used in the Church either among the Pro- 
'phets...or the Apostles\' In the next generation Ire- 
naeus quotes with marked respect a passage which is 
found in the first of the Commandments, but he does 
not allude to Hermas by name, nor specify the book 
from which he derived itl Clement of Alexandria men- 
tions Hermas three times^ but he does not distinguish 

the poem is anonymous. It is djfifi- 
cult to see how this affects the autho- 
rity of the stg^tement if the Fraginent 
is genuine. A contemporary Roman 
writer would be likely to know more 
about the authorship than Origen, 
who after all only offers his opinion as 
a conjecture. See page 198, note i. 

1 Cf. p, 196, n. 3. 

2 Iren. (iv. 20) ap, Euseb. H. E. V. 
8 : KaXws oZv elirey 77 ypacprjij \4yov(^a, 
nparof TrdvTOiv Triarevcrpv otl e^s ^<ttIv 
6 0e6s o rot irdvTa Krlaas, Kal rd e^rjs 
{Fasfor, Mand. ')..). It maybe rea- 
sonably supposed that Hermas here 
uses words sanctioned by common 

3 Str. 1. 17. 85 : I. 29. 29 ; 11. i. 3. 
In three other places he quotes the 
book simply by the title of the Shep- 
herd: Str. II. 12, 55 ; IV. 9. 67 ; VI. 

The references which Tertullian 
makes to the book {de Pudicitia, cc. 
10, 20) throw no direct light upon 
its date or authorship. He simply 
affirms that it was 'classed by every 

'■council of the Churches among the 
'false and Apocryphal books.' The 
original text is important : Cederem 
tibi si scriptura Pastoris quae sola 
moechos amat divino instrumento 
meruisset incidi, si non ab omni con- 
cilio ecclesiarum etiam vestrarum inter 
apocrypha et falsa judicaretur, adul- 
tera et ipsa et inde patrona sociorum 
(de Pud. 10). Even if due allowance 
is made for the rhetorical character of 
the passage it is evident that the 
Canonicity of books was a question 
debated in Christian assemblies in 
Tertullian's time : that varieties of 
opinion on the Canon existed and 
were known to exist : that the Catho- 
lic Canon (etiam vestraruju) was more 
comprehensive than that of sects. In 
other word$ M?ire.ioi;i was but one 
out of many against whose arbitrary 
judgments the Church maintained 
with regard to Holy Scripture the 
whole truth. Compare de Pudic. 20 : 
Et utique receptior apud ecclesias 
epistola Barnabse {i. e. the Epistle to 
the Hebrews) illo apocrypho Pastore 



identifies its 
author with 
the Apostolic 

his name by any honorary title, and is wholly silent as 
to his date and position. The identification of the 
author of the Shepherd with his namesake in the Epistle 
to the Romans is due to Origen, and is in fact nothing 
more than a conjecture of his in his commentary on 
the passage in St Paul. ' I fancy/ he says, ' that that 
' Hermas is the author of the tract which is called the 
' Shepherd, a writing which seems to me to be very use- 
' ful, and is, as I fancy, divinely inspired \' If there had 
been any historic evidence for the statement it could 
scarcely have escaped Origen's knowledge, and had he 
known any he would not have spoken as he does. When 
the conjecture was once made it satisfied curiosity and 
supplied the place of more certain information. But 
though it found acceptance, it acquired no new strength. 
Eusebius and Jerome, the next writers who repeat ' the 
' report,' do not confirm it by any independent autho- 
rity^ It remained to the last a mere hypothesis, and 
cannot stand against the direct assertion of a contem- 

Internal evidence alone is sufficient to prove that the 
Shepherd could not have been written in the Apostolic 
age. The whole tone and bearing shews that it is of the 
same date as Montanism : and the view which it opens 
of church discipline, government, and ordinances, can 
scarcely belong to an earlier period I Theologically the 

moechorum. Here two disputed books In § 24 he raises the question whe- 

are placed side by side, and a balance ther Apelles (Rom. xvi. 10) be not 

of external authority struck. identical with ^/^//^j. Cf. Horn, in 

1 Grig. Comm. in Rom. Lib. x. 31. Luc. xxv. 

Puto tamen quod Hermas iste sit ^ Euseb. H. E. iii. 3 [<paalv). 

scriptor libelli ejus qui Pastor appel- Hieron. de Virr. III. c. 10 (asserunt). 

latur, quse scriptura valde mihi utilis ^ The following appear to be some 

videtur et ut puto divinitus inspirata. of the weightiest proofs of its late 

He then goes on to explain the omis- date : 

sion of any remark upon his name, (a) The teaching on penitence 

shewing that he is speaking from {Vis. iii. 7; Mand. iv. i ; Sim. vii.), 

conjecture and not from knowledge, and fasting {Sim. v.). The allusions 




book is of the highest value, as shewing in what way 
Christianity was endangered by the influence of Jewish 
principles as distinguished from Jewish forms. The 
peril arose not from the recollection of the old but from 
the organization of the new: its centre was not at Je- 
rusalem but at Rome. At Jerusalem Christian doctrine 
was grafted on the Jewish ritual ; but at Rome a Juda- 
izing spirit was busy in moulding a substitute for the 
Mosaic system \ The one error was necessarily of short 
continuance : the other must continue to try the Church 
even to the end. This 'legal' view of Christianity is 
not without a Scriptural basis ; but here again the con- 
trast between the harmonious subordination of the ele- 
ments of Scripture and the partial exaggerations of 
early patristic writings is most apparent. The Shep- 
Jierd bears the same relation to the Epistle of St James 
as the Epistle of Barnabas to that to the Hebrews ^ 

to stationes {Sim. v. i), and subhi' 
troductcz {Sim. ix. 11). 

(|3) The account of the Orders in 
the Church {Vis. iii. 5). 

(7) The teaching on Baptism {Sim. 
ix. 16) as necessary even for the 
Patriarchs. The revival in Mor- 
monism of this belief is one of many 
singular coincidences with early errors 
which that system exhibits. 

The direct historical data are few. 
The Church had endured much per- 
secution {Vis. iii. 2), which was not 
yet over, and was conducted deli- 
berately and not merely in popular 
outbursts ( Vis. iii. 6 ; Vis. iv. ; Sim. 
ix. 28). The Apostles were already 
dead {Sim. ix. 16). It is uncertain 
whether the introduction of ' Cle- 
' mens and Grapte' {Vis. ii. 4) is part 
of the fiction of the book, or spiri- 
tually symbolic. Origen {Philoc. I. 
11) interprets it in the latter sense. 

1 Hermas uses the number twelve 
to symbolize the universality of the 
Church — the spiritual Israel, rb. opt\ 

ravTa to. dibScKa <f>v\al elciv al Kar- 
oLKovcai oKov rbv Kdcr/xov {Sim. ix. 
17). The common Latin text gives 
Duodecim montes...duodecim sunt 
gentes, and the repeated 5w5e/ca 
might easily have fallen out of the 
Greek text ; but the word is not 
found in Cod. Palat. The passage 
itself points to the true interpre- 
tation of Apoc. vii. 

1 have given the Greek text of 
the quotations from the Shepherd. 
The discovery of the Codex Sinaiti- 
ctis has placed the substantial au- 
thenticity of Simonides' copy beyond 
all reasonable doubt. Dr Donald- 
son's arguments (i. p. 399) prove 
too much, for Cod. Sinait. dates from 
a period within 'the first five centu- 
'ries of the Christian era.' 

2 Cf. p. 44. The Epistle of St 
James, as has been often noticed, is 
remarkable for allusions to nature, 
and so also is the writing of Her- 
mas; he says at the opening of his 
Visions : khbija^ov raj /crt<rei$ jov 



The idea of a Christian Law lies at the bottom of them 
both : but according to St James it is a law of liberty, 
centering in man's deliverance from corruption within 
and ceremonial without ; while Hermas rather looks for 
its essence in the rites of the outward Church. Both 
St James and Hermas insist on the necessity of works ; 
but the one regards them as the practical expression 
of a personal faith, while the other finds in them an 
intrinsic value and recognises the possibility of superero- 
gatory virtue \ Still throughout the Shepherd the Law- 
giver is Christ and not Moses. It contains no allusion 
to the institutions of Judaism, even while insisting on 
ascetic observances. And so far from exhibiting the 
predominance of Ebionism in the Church, it is a pro- 
test against it ; inasmuch as it is an attempt to satisfy 
by a purely legal view of the Gospel itself the feelings to 
which Ebionism appealed. It consists as it were of a 
system of Christian ethics based on ecclesiastical ideas. 

The Shepherd contains no definite quotation from 
either Old or New Testament. The single reference 
by name is to a phrase in an obscure Apocryphal book 
Eldad and Modat, which is found in an ironical sentence 
apparently directed against the misuse made of it ^ The 

6eoO OTi fieydXat Kal Suvarai Kal 
evTrpeireU elaiv. The beauty of lan- 
guage and conception in many parts 
of the Shepherd has never been sus- 
ficiently appreciated. Much of it 
may be compared with the Pilgrim'' s 
Progress, and higher praise than this 
cannot be given to a book of its 

1 Sim. V. 3 : edv yi ri dyadbv iroi-^- 
arjs eKTbi rrjs evroXrjs toO Qeov aeav- 
T^ irepiTTOL-qari bb^av irepiaaor^pav 
Kal ^arj ivbo^brepos irapd T(p Gey 
ov ^fieXXes elvat. Cf. Mand. iv. 4, 
in connexion with i Cor. vii. 39, 40. 

2 Vis. ii. 3 : 'Epeij 5^ Ma^^/iy, 'I- 

5oi> dXirpis ipx^Tai' idv aoi (f>avy 
vdXtv dpvrjffai (1. dpvrjaai)' iyyi)s k6- 
pios rots eTn(TTpe<f)oixivoL$, u>s y^ypa- 
irrai ev tQ 'E\(5d5 koL Mw5ar roij 
vpocpriTevaaaiv kv Ty iprjfn^ Tip Xa(p. 
So Cod. Sinait. The reading Ma^/- 
fiip is also given by Cod. Palat., and 
there can be no doubt that it is cor- 
rect. In form the message corre«^ 
sponds with the commissions to Cle-^ 
ment and Grapte which follow in 
the next section, and it is very hard 
to see how any difficulty could have 
been found in the reading. The 
sense of the passage seems to be : 
You may if you please deny" Christ 




scope of the writer gave no opportunity for the direct 
application of Scripture. He claims to receive a divine 
message, and to record the words of Angels. His know- 
ledge of the New Testament can then only be shewn by 
passing coincidences of language, and these do in fact 
occur throughout the book. The allusions to the Epistle 
of St James^ and to the Apocalypse^ are naturally most 
frequent, since the one is most closely connected with 
the Shepherd by its tone, and the other by its form. 
The numerous paraphrases of our Lord's words prove 
that Hermas was familiar with some records of His 
teaching ^ That these were no other than our Gospels 
is at least rendered probable by the fact that he makes 
no reference to any Apocryphal narrative : and the opi- 
nion is confirmed by probable allusions to St John ^ and 
the Acts^ In several places also St John's teaching on 
* the Truth ' lies at the ground of Hermas' words® ; and 
the parallels with the First Epistle of St Peter are well 
worthy of notice ^ The relation of Hermas to St Paul 

again in persecution, vainly relying 
on general promises of repentance. 
Cf. Numb. xi. 26, 27. 

1 The coincidences of Hennas with 
St James are too numerous to be 
enumerated at length. Whole sec- 
tions of the Shepherd are framed with 
evident recollection of St James's 
Epistle : e.g. Vis. iii. 9 ; Mand. ii., 
ix., xi. ; Sim.'V. 4. Of the shorter 
passages one or two examples will 
suffice; Mand. xii. 5, 6= James iv. 
7, 12 ; Sim. viii. 6= James ii. 7. 

2 The symbolism of the Apoca- 
lypse reappears in the Shepherd. The 
Church is represented under the 
figure of a woman (Apoc. xii. i ; Vis. 
ii. 4), a bride (Apoc. xxi. 2 ; Vis. iv. 
2) : her enemy is a great beast (Apoc. 
xii. 4; Vis. iv. 2). The account of 
the building the tower {Vis. iii. 5) 
and of the array of those who entered 
into it {Sim. viii. 2, 3) is to be com- 

pared with Apoc. xxi. 14; vi. 11 ; 
vii. 9, 14. 

^ The Similitudes generally deserve 
to be accurately compared with the 
Gospel Parables. Cf. Matt. xiii. 5 
— 8, with Sim. ix. 19, 20, 21 ; Matt, 
xiii. 31, 32, with Si77t. viii. 3; Matt, 
xviii. 3, with Sim. ix. 29. Of other 
passages compare Matt. x. 33 with 
Vis. ii. 2. 

* See pp. 203 f. 

^ Vis. iv. 2 = Acts iv. 12. 

^ Mand. iii.: 'AXrideLav aydira... 
'iva rb TTuevfxa 6 debs Kari^Kicxev iv rfj 
aapKl TavTiQ aXrjd^s evp^dfj ...koI ovtoj 
So^aadT^aerai ofxov 6 iv <toI KaToiK(2v, 
OTL 6 K^pios dXr)div6i iariv iv iravrl 
prifiaTL Kot ov8iv Tap' ai)T^ ipevbo^. 
Comp. I John ii. 27 ; iv. 6. [James 
iv. 5.] Comp. Sim. ix. 12. 

7 Vis. iv. 3 = 1 Pet. i. 7; Vis. iv. 
1 — 1 Pet. v. 7. 



is interesting and important. His peculiar object, as 
well as perhaps his turn of mind, removed him from 
any close connexion with the Apostle ; but their diver- 
gence has been strangely exaggerated. In addition to 
marked coincidences of language with the First Epistle 
to the Corinthians and with that to the Ephesians\ Her- 
mas distinctly recognises the great truth which is com- 
monly regarded as the characteristic centre of St Paul's 
teaching. ' Faith,' he says, ' is the first of the seven vir- 
' gins by which the Church is supported. She keeps 
' it together by her power ; and by her the elect of God 

* are saved. Abstinence the second virgin is her daugh- 
' ter ; and the rest are daughters one of the other. And 
' when the Christian observes the works of their mother, 

* he is able to liveV Clement of Alexandria paraphras- 
ing the passage says : ' Faith precedes : Fear edifies : 
' Love perfects ^' Whatever may be Hermas' teaching 
on works, this passage alone is sufficient to prove that 
he assigned to Faith its true position in the Christian 
Economy. The Law, as he understands it, is implanted 
only in the minds of those who have believed ^ 

The view which Hermas gives of Christ's nature and 

1 Sim. V. 7 = 1 Cor. iii. i6j 17; 
Sim. ix. i3 = Eph. iv. 4; Mand. iii. 
(cf. Mand. x. i) = Eph. iv. 30. 

2 Vis. iii. 8 : 6 irvp'^o^ (the symbol 
of the Church) virb Tovriov ^aara'^e- 
rai KUT eTTiTayrju rod Kvpiov aKove 
vvv Tcts ipepyeias avrQvi i] [xkv irpu}- 
TT] aiiTU)}/ 7) Kparovca ras x^'P'*^ Ilt- 
aris AcaXetrat " did. raiJTr]^ {javT-qp 
Cod. Sinait.) adi^oprai ol eKXeKtoi 
ToO deov. 77 8^ eripa i) Trepie^oxr^ue- 
PTj Kal dpdpi^o/ui^pr] 'EyKpdreta /caXei- 
rai* avTT) dvy6.Tr)p earlp ttjs Iltcrreajs 5^ €T^paL....v^PT€....dvyaT€pes 
dW-^Xojp el<xl..,OTap odp rd ^pya ttjs 
/jLrjTpbi avTWP irdpra TroLtjcrris 5vpa- 
<rai ^Tjcrai. For the last clause Cod. 

Palat. gives omnes poteris videre, and 
the common text omnia poteris cus- 
todire. In the former videre is an 
obvious mistake for vivere, omnes 
being taken with operas (sic Palat.): 
the latter is a distinct reading. 

^ Clem. Sir. II. 12 : Upo-qyetTai 
fxkv TTt'cTTtjj 06j8os S^ oUodofJie?, re- 
Xeto? 5^ 7] dydirr}. 

^ Sim. viii. 3:05^ aayyeXo^ 6 fii- 
7as Kol ^p8o^os Mixa^X 6 ^x'«"' "^W 
i^ovffiap To&rou tov Xaou Kai diaKv- 
^epi^Cjp' OKTOS yap earip 6 3i5oi>s ai- 
Tots rbp pbfJ.ov els rds KapUas tCov 
TTKXTevbpTWP. eirLffKeTTTeTai ovp ai/rbs 
oh ^8o}K€P el dpa Terrfpi^KaaiP avrbp. 




work is no less harmonious with Apostolic doctrine, and 
it offers striking analogies to the Gospel of St John\ 
Not only did the Son * appoint Angels to preserve each 

* of those whom the Father gave to Him ; ' but ' He 
' Himself toiled very much and suffered very much to 
'cleanse our sins... And so when He Himself had 
' cleansed the sins of the people, He shewed them the 

* paths of life by giving them the Law which He re- 

* ceived from His Father'^.' He is ' a Rock higher than 
' the mountains, able to hold the whole world, ancient, 
' and yet having a new gatel' ' His name is great and 
'infinite, and the whole world is supported by HimV 
' He is older than creation, so that He took counsel 
'with the Father about the creation which He made^ 
' He is the sole way of access to the Lord ; and no one 
'shall enter in unto Him otherwise than by His SonV 

^ The general cogency of these Int. Latj) iraXaih S^ tjv t) werpa 

analogies lies in the attribution to a iKelur} itrvKrjv iKKeKOfJLfj.evrjy ^x^*^^" ' ^^ 

historic Person of the functions of irpSaipaTos 5^ ^56/cei fioL cluai i) iK- 

'the Son' or of 'the Word.' Of KSXaxpts ttjs Tr6\rj^. 77 5^ tti^Xt; ov- 

such a doctrine I know no trace in rws k<jrk\^ev vvkp t6v ijXiou ware fie 

pre-Christian times : though it is daVud^etv ewi rf} XafxirpdTTjTi ttjs ttv- 

quite true that in parts of St Paul's Xrjs. 

Epistles and in the Epistle to the Sim. ix. 12 : i) irirpa, (pTjaiv, avrr] 

Hebrews this type of doctrine is Kal rj irdXr) 6 vios rod deov earl. IIcDs, 

found, derived (as I believe) from the (f>r}iJ.l, K^pte, r/ tr^Tpa TraXaict iaTiv 

teaching preserved for Us by St John* i] d^ ttvXt} Kaivrj ; "AKOve, (prjal, Kal 

It seems to be forgotten that the (rvvie aa-vveTe. '0 jxh vlb^ rod deov 

term ' the Word ' is found only in wdarjs rijs Krlaeiat avTov Trpoyevia-re- 

two verses in St John's Gospel. 
2 Sim. v. 6 : Kal avrbs rots afxap' 

p6s ecTTtv, ware avfx^ovXov avrhv ye- 
viadai TCf) irarpl ttjs Trrlffeus avTov. 

Has 1^/xQu iKaddpiae ttoXXol Koirtouras 5td tovto Kal iraXaiSs eariv. 'H 5^ 

Kal TToXXoiis kSttovs tjvtXtjkcos. 

rvXr) dta TL Kaiifi], (pyjfii, Kvpte ; "On, 

t6s ovv Kadaplaas rds d/JLaprias rov (prjaiv, eir' icrxdroip ru)u i]fxepG}v TrjS 

Xaov ISei^ev ai)ro?s rds rpi^ovs tt]S crvureXeias <pavep6s ey^uero, did tovto 

i^WTJs 5oi)s aiiToh rhv vbixov 6v ^XajSe Kaiu^ iyheTO tj tOXt], tva ol fx^XXov- 

irapd Tou TrarpisauTOu. The last clause res cdj^eadai 8l airrjs els ttjp ^aai- 

is characteristic of the Lord's dis- Xeiav eiaiXdujtXL tov deov. 

courses in St John : e.^.,xy. 15. ■* Sim. ix. 14: t6 6vofia tov vlov 

* Sim. ix. 2 : ^5ei^^ fxoi. iriTpav fie- tov deov fiiya ccttI Kal ax'^P'>)TOV Kal 

yaXr}v XevKr;v iK tov iredLov dva^e^v}- t6u kSct/xou 6Xov ^aaTa^ei. 

KhaL' t) 6^ TT^Tpa v\prjXoT^pa rjv tu>p ^ Sim. ix. 12 ; quoted above. 

dp^iav TCTpdyiavos c3<rre dvyaadac 6- * Sim. ix. 12 : ^5^ ttvXtj 6 vios tov 

Xov Thv Kbafiov x^PV^^'"-'- {sustinere deov eaTlv avT-q fila eicodbs eaTi irpos 



Chap^ii. I Jq Hermas, that is to the Christian of these later times, 
He appears * by the Spirit in the form of the Church\' 

It would be difficult to find a more complete con- 
trast to Ebionism than these passages afford. Hermas 
indeed could never have been charged with favouring 
such a heresy unless the manifold developments of Chris- 
tian character had been forgotten. His tendency to- 
wards legalism — a tendency peculiar to no time and 
no dispensation — was first transformed into an adher- 
ence to Jewish legalism; this was next identified with 
Ebionism; and then it only remained to explain away 
such phr^ases as were irreconeileable with the doctrines 
which it was assumed that he must of necessity have held. 
True criticism reverses the process, and sets down every 
element of the problem before it attempts a solution. 
Then it is seen how truly the teaching of St Paul and 
St John is recognised in the ShepJurd, though that of St 
James gives the tone to the whole. The personality 
of its author is clearly marked, but his peculiar opi- 
nions do not degenerate into heresy. The book is 
distinguished from the writings of the Apostles by the 
undue preponderance of one form of Christian truth; 
from those of heretics by the admission of 9.U. 

§ II. Hegesippiis, 

The name of Hegesippus has become a watchword 
for those who find vc\. early Church history a fatal 

aeraL irpos c^vrbv d firj dia tou vlov 
avTov. The allusion to the M^ords 
recorded by St John (xiv. 6) appears 
to me to be unmistakeable. The 
different turn of Acts iv. 12 will make 
this clearer. 

^ Sim. ix. I : ...6<xa <tol ^dei^e t6 
TvevfJLa rb Xakrjaav /xera cod iv jxop- 

4>V "^V^ '^KKXr]aia^' eKeivo yap rb 
TTveO/^a 6 vlb^ rod deov iariv. The 
conception is well worthy of notice. 
This is howeyer not the place to enter 
into the details of Hernias' doctrine 
of the Trinity— especially of the rela- 
tion of the Son to the Holy Spirit. 
Cf. Dorner, i. 195 ff. 




chasm in the unity of Christian truth which is impHed 
in Holy Scripture. It has been maintained that he is 
the representative and witness of the Ebionism of ' the 
' Twelve ' or rather of ' the Three,' the resolute oppo- 
nent of St Pauls Many circumstances lend plausibility 
to the statement. Every influence of birth and educa- 
tion likely to predispose to Ebionism is allowed to have 
existed in his case. 

He was it appears of Hebrew descent^ conversant 
with Jewish history, and a zealous collector of the early 
traditions of his Church. The well-known description 
which he gives of the martyrdom of St James the Just 
shews how highly he regarded ritual observances in a 
Jew, and with what simple reverence he dwelt on every 
detail which marked the zeal of the ' Bishop of the Cir- 
' cumcision^' It is probable that he felt that same de- 
voted attachment to his nation which was characteristic 
of St Paul no less than of the latest Hebrew convert 
of our own time*; but of Ebionism as distinguished 
from the natural feelings of a Jew we find no trace in 
his views either of the Old Covenant or of the Person 
of Christ. There is not one word in the fragments of 
his own writings or in what others relate of him which 
indicates that he looked upon the Law as of universal 
obligation, or indeed as binding Upon any after the de- 
struction of the Temple. There is not one word which 

1 In this as in many other in- 
stances later critics have only re- 
vived an old, controversy. Cf. Lum- 
per, III. 117 ff.; Bull maintained 
the true view in answer to Zwicker. 

2 Euseb. H. E.iY. 22. Cf. p. 209, 
n. I. 

3 Eu|eb. H. E. ii. 23. Routh, i. 
208 ^. %\iQ. details however of his 
life are nd^ll drawn from Nazaritic 

* It is strange that the conduct 
of St Paul is not more frequently 
taken as a commentary on his teach- 
ing. Apart from the testimonies in 
the Acts, St Paul himself says in 
an Epistle universally acknowledged 
that he became as a yew to the Jews 
(i Cor. ix. 20). The whole relation 
of the Church to the Synagogue in 
the Apostolic age requires a fresh 



implies that he differed from the CathoHc view of 
' Christ ' the ' Saviour ' and the ' Door ' of access to God. 
The general tone of his language authorizes no such 
deductions; and what we know of his life excludes 

It is not necessary however to determine his opi- 
nions by mere negations. Eusebius, who was acquainted 
with his writings, has given the fullest testimony to his 
Catholic doctrine by classing him with Dionysius, Piny- 
tus, and Irenaeus, among those 'champions of the truth^' 
whose ' orthodoxy and sound faith conformable to the 
' Apostolic tradition was shewn by their writings V He- 
gesippus in fact proves that the faith which we have 
already recognised in its essential features at Ephesus, 
Corinth, and Rome, was indeed the faith of Christen- 

Not being content to examine the records of his 
native Church only, Hegesippus undertook a journey to 
Rome^ and visiting niany bishops on his way * found 
* everywhere the same doctrine\' Among other places 
he visited Corinth, where he was refreshed by the right 
principles {6p66<; X0709) in which the Church had con- 
tinued up to the time of his visits What these ' right 

1 Euseb. H. E. IV. 7, 8 : irapijyev 
els fi^crov 7/ aX-qdeia TrXeiovs eavTrjs 
VTr€pfji,dxovs...di iyy pdtpuv aTrooei^eoju 
Kara tQiv ddiuu alpicxewv arpaTCvo- 
ix^vovs' iv To^TOts iyvupL^ero '£[7^- 

2 Euseb. H. E. iv. 21 : wv koL eh 
rifMcis TTJs dwoa-ToXiKris irapaSdaews 7} 
ToO vyiovs irlcTTews ^yypacpos KaTTJX- 
dev dp6o5o^la. On such a point the 
evidence of Eusebius is conclusive. 

2 This journey took place during 
the bishopric of Anicetus (157 — 168 
A.D. Euseb. H. E. iv. 11), and He- 
gesippus appears to have continued 
at Rome till the time of Eleutherius 

(177 — 190A.D.). The Paschal Chro- 
nicle fixes his death in the reign of 
Commodus (Lumper, iii. 108). Je- 
rome speaks of liim {de Virr. III. 
22) as vicinus Apostolicorum tempo- 
rum., so rendering, as it appears, the 
phrase of Eusebius kirl t^s irp^Ty\% 
rCov dirotXTdXuJV yevdfievos diadoxvs 
{H. E. II. 23). This vi^ould repre- 
sent him as a younger contemporary 
of Polycarp. 

* Euseb. II. E. IV. 22 : rrjv avriju 
irapd TrdvTiov TrapeLXrjipe 8i.5aaKaXlav. 

^ Euseb. //. E. IV. 22 : Kal iH- 
jxevev 77 Kopivdlo}u iv rip 6pd!^ X6y(p 
p.iXP'- ^p^/J-ov iin(TKOTre{iovTOi ev Ko- 




' principles ' were is evident from the fact that he found 
there the Epistle of Clement, which was still read in 
the public services \ The witness of Hegesippus is thus 
invested with new importance. He not only proves 
that there was one rule of faith in his time, but also 
that it had been preserved in unbroken succession from 
the first age^ His inquiries confirmed the fact which 
we have seen personified in the life of Polycarp, that 
from the time of St John to that of Irenaeus the Creed 
of the Church was essentially unchanged, 

Hegesippus embodied the results of his investiga- 
tions in five books or Memoirs. These according to 
Jerome^ formed a complete history of the Church from 
the death of our Lord to the time of their composition ; 
but this statement is probably made from a misunder- 
standing of Eusebius, who says that Hegesippus ' wrote 
' Memoirs in five books of the unerring tradition of the 
'Apostolic message in a very simple style V 'leaving 
* in these,' as he adds in another place, ' a very full 
'record of his own opinion ^' It appears then that his 
object was theological rather than historical. He sought 

Kal (7vv8i^TpL\pa rots l^opivdioi'i rjfx^- 
pas LKUvas' iv ah crwaveTrdrj/xeu t(^ 
dpdi^ \6yc{}. 

1 Euseb. /. c. Cf. H. E. in. 16 ; 
and p. 1 88. The Catholic character 
of Clement's Epistle, with the clear 
recognition of the Apostolic dignity 
of St Paul which it contains (see 
pp. 2 5, 26, 57), gives peculiar force 
to this casual testimony. 

2 Euseb. /. c: ev eKaarri 8^ dia- 
doxv (in each episcopal succession) 
Kal ip eKda-ry irdXec ourws ?x^' '^^ 
6 vSfJLOS Kr]p6TT€i Kal ol Trpo(prJTaL Kal 
6 Kijpios. This last phrase has been 
already noticed as occurring in the 
Syriac Epistles of Clement (p. 186), 
which alone shews the error of Cred- 

ner's supposition that the use of 
Kvpios precludes the Canonical au- 
thority of the Epistles, GescA. d. 
N. T. Kanon, p. 35. Compare Bp. 
Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 311. 

'^ De Virr. III. I. c. : ...omnes a 
passione Domini usque ad suam 
setatem Ecclesiasticorum Actuum 
texens historias... 

4 Euseb. H. E. iv. 8 : h irivre drj 
ovv avyy pd/xfiaaiv ovtos ttiv aTrKavrj 
irapddocnu tov dTrocrroXtfcoO Krjp&y- 
jxaTOS airXova-TdTTi onrrd^et ypa^-^s 
virofivrjfjLaTKrdfxevos . . . 

^ Euseb. If. E. IV. 22 : eV trkvre 
Toh eh Tjfids eXdovatv virop-vijixacn 
TTjs Iblas yvibfiTjs irXrjpeo'TdTrji' fxvrifirjv 



Traces of 
language in 
inents which 

to make out the oneness and continuity of Apostolic 
doctrine; and to this end he recorded the succession 
of bishops in each Church, with such illustrative details 
as the subject required \ 

The compilation of such a book of Chfonicles gave 
little opportunity for the quotation of Scripture or for 
the exposition of any views on Scripture; but in the 
absence of direct reference to the historical books of 
the New Testament it is interesting to observe the 
influence of their language on' the fragments of Hege- 
sippus which survive. There are forms of expression 
corresponding to passages in the Gospels of St Matthew 
and St Luke arid in the Acts which can scarcely be 
attributed to chance'^; and when he speaks of 'the Door 
'of Jesus' iri his account of the death of St James, 
there can be little doubt that he alludes to the language 
of our Lord recorded by St John^ 

1 The arrangement of his Memoirs 
cannot have been purely chronolo- 
gical, for the account of the martyr- 
dom of St James the Just is taken 
from i\iQ fifth book. There is no de- 
finite quotation from any earlier book. 

^ The chief passages occur in the 
account of the martyrdom of St 
James : Euseb. H. E. ir. i-^ : ["0 
I'ioj rov avdpuTTOv] KadTjTai iv t^ 
ovpav(^ €K de^iQu rijs fieYoXrjs 8vvd- 
fxecos Kai fM^Wet ^px^ffdaL iirl rCJv ve- 
(pe\u)v Tov ovpavov, Cf. Matt. xxvi. 
64. For the variation koI fxiWei 
^pX^crdai for epx^P-^vov cf. p. 140, 
n. 3. AiKaios el kuI wpbcrwirov ov 
Xafji^dveis. This phrase tt/j. Xa/x. 
only occurs in Luke xx. 2 1 and Gal. 
ii. 6. Mdprvs euros dXrjdrfs 'lovSal- 
ois re Kul "'EWrjai yey^vrjrat 6ti 'Irj- 
<Tovs 6 'KpiarSs ecrri. Cf. Acts xx. 2 1 . 
The last words of St James as re- 
corded by Hegesippus are still more 
remarkable : rjp^avTo "Xidd^eiv avrbv 
iwel Kara^'KriOds ovk diriOavev, dXkd 
<TTpa(f)eis 'idr]Ke rd ybvara X^yuv' 

JJapaKoKu) Kvpie de^ irarep a0€s 
airots, ov yap ol5a<ri ti iroiovcriv. 
The last clause agrees verbally with 
Luke xxiii. 34. In the Cle}7ientine 
Homilies the text is given : Hdrep, 
d(p€S avTols rets dp-apTias avrCjv, ov 
yap otdaaiu a iroiovaiv (xi. 20). 

It is to be noticed that he refers 
to Herod's fear of Christ, recorded 
in Matt, ii., which chapter was not 
found in the Ebionite Gospel : see 
Euseb. H^ E, iii. 20. 

^ The sense of this difficult phrase 
seems to be ' ' the Door of which 
'Jesus spoke.' The claim ' I am the 
' Door ' (John x. 7, 9) was that of ex- 
clusive right to admit into the fold of 
God; and it is easy to see how, when 
this claim was pressed, the question 
would arise : What then is the door 
of Jesus? The Greek admits equally 
this translation and the translation 
* The Door /^ Jesus ; ' and whether the 
interpretation given be right or wrong, 
it is both intelligible and pertinent. 

It has been supposed that He- 




It appears however that Hegesippus did not exclu- 
sively use Canonical writings. As a historian he natu- 
rally sought for information from every source ; and 
the Apocryphal Gospels were likely to contain many 
details suited to his purpose. It is not strange then 
that Eusebius says that 'he sets forth certain things 

* from the Gospel according to the Hebrews and the 
VSyriac [Gospel] and especially from the Hebrew lan- 
'guage; thus shewing that he was a Christian of He- 
*brew descent; and he mentions other facts moreover, 

* as it was likely that he would do, from unwritten Jew- 
'ish tradition\' He went beyond the range of the 

gesippus in a Fragment given in 
Photius, Bibl. 7^2, alludes to a pas- 
sage in St Paul (i Cor. ii. 9) as 
' vainly said ' and contrary to our 
Lord's vi^ords (Matt. xiii. 16). It is 
enough to answer that the passage 
in question is quoted by St Paul 
from the Old Testament (Isa. Ixiv. 
4, Kadojs yiy pairTai), and that it is 
immediately followed by rjpup 6^ ctTre- 
KoXvxpev K.T.X. Hegesippus evidently 
refers to some sect {roiis ravra (pa- 
fiivovs) who claimed for themselves 
the true and sole possession of spi- 
ritual mysteries. Cf Routh, i. pp. 
281, 282 : Bp. Lightfoot, Galatians, 
p. 311 n. The quotation is said to 
have been found in the Ascensio 
Esaice and the Apocalypsis Eli(X. Cf 
Routh, /. c, Dorner, i. 228. It is 
very common in early Christian 
writings; and it has been supposed 
that it was incorporated in a very 
ancient, perhaps Apostolic, Christian 

The fact th,at Eusebius does not 
expressly quote Hegesippus as re- 
cognizing the Pauline Epistles has 
been supposed to shew that he dis- 
allowed their authority. The argu- 
ment is worthless. See note at the 
end of the Chapter. 

In one passage Eusebius (ZT. E. 
III. 32) quoting Hegesippus freely 


uses the phrase ^ ^pevdiLvvfios yvQais 
(i Tim. vi. 20), but it cannot be 
certain that the words stood so in 
the original text. 

^ Euseb. H. E. IV. 22 : ^k re rov 
Ka6' 'E^paiovs evayyeXiov Kal tov 
livpioLKov Kal Idicos €k tt]s 'E^pa'i'8os 
diaX^KTOv Tivb. ridrjaiv, eixcpalvwv ^^ 
'ElSpaiwv eavrbv TreinaTevKivac Kal 
dWa 8^ LOS du ef 'lovdaiKTJs dypd(pov 
Trapaddaecji jxvqjxove'ueL. By t6 2u- 
piaKbv we must I think understand 
the Aramaic recension of the Gospel 
according to St Matthew. Melito, 
as Routh has observed, speaks of 6 
livpos Kal 'E^palos in reference to 
a reading in the LXX. where the 
natural meaning is the Syrian trans- 
lation (translator) and the Hebrew 
original. There is nothing in the 
language of Eusebius to lend sup- 
port to the conclusion that Hegesip- 
pus used only this Semitic Gospel, 
as even Reuss most strangely as- 
sumes {ffisL du Canon, 42). The 
reference to unwritten tradition points 
the other way. At any rate it is 
absolutely necessary in such a case 
to keep strictly within the lines of 
the evidence ; and I do not know of 
any direct evidence whatever in sup- 
port of the assertion that * Hegesip- 
* pus made exclusive use of the 
'Gospel according to the Hebrews' 

Chap. ii. 

His use of 






Scriptures both of the Old and of the New Testament. 
Tradition helped him in one case, and unauthoritative 
>vritings in the other. But the language used by Euse- 
bius distinctly implies that the Gospel according to the 
Hebrews was used by Hegesippus as a supplemental 
source, subsidiary to the Gospels. In doing this Hege- 
sippus did not disallow the Canon, or cast aside all criti- 
cism; for in immediate connexion with the words last 
quoted we read ' that when determining about the so- 
' called Apocrypha he records that some of the books 
' were forged in his own time by certain heretics \' There 
is indeed nothing to shew distinctly that he refers to 
the Apocryphal books of the New Testament, but there 
is nothing to limit his words to the Old ; and when he 
speaks of the teaching of * the Lord,' in the same manner 
as ^ of the Law and of the ProphetsV he clearly implies 
the existence of some written record of its substance. No 
further direct evidence however remains to identify this 
with the sum of our Canonical books, unless we accept 
the conjecture of a distinguished scholar of our own 
day, who has gone so far as to assert that the anony- 
mous Fragment which will be the subject of the next 
section is in fact a translation from ' the historical work 
' of Hegesippus V 

{Supernat. Rel. i. 419, 438 f.). There 
is no direct evidence that he did 
use other Gospels than this — and I 
have given reasons why we cannot 
expect that there should be — but that 
is a very different thing. Comp. p. 
163, n. I. 

■•■ Euseb. /. c. : koX -rrepl t<2v \eyo- 
fxevwv dk a.iroKp6(pb)v dLa\aiJ.j3dvci}v, 
€Trl tSov avTOv XP^^^^ Trpbi tivojv al- 

pcTiKcov apaireTrXacrdai riva roirwu 
IcTTopei. Elsewhere (v. 8, vi. 13) 
Eusebius mixes together the con- 
troverted books of the Old and New 

2 Cf. p. 207, n, 2. 

3 Bunsen's Hippolyttis, i. p. 314. 
The evidence of the Clementines is 
noticed below in Chap. iv. § 2. 





§ 1 2. The Muratorian Fragment on the Canon — 
Melito^ Claudius Apollinaris. 

A notice of the Latin Fragment on the Canon, first 
published by Muratori in his Antiqidtates Italicce^, forms 
a natural close to this part of our inquiry. This pre- 
cious relic was discovered in the Ambrosian Library at 
Milan in a Manuscript of the seventh or eighth cen- 
tury, which originally belonged to Columban's great 
Monastery at Bobbiol It is mutilated both at the be- 
ginning and end ; and is disfigured throughout by re- 
markable barbarisms, due in part to the ignorance of the 
transcriber, and in part to the translator of the original 
text ; for there can be little doubt that it is a version 
from the Greek. But notwithstanding these defects it 
is of the greatest interest and importance. Enough 

^ Antiquit. Ital. Med. ALvi, ill. 
851 sqq. (Milan, 1740). The best 
edition of the Fragment is in Routh, 
Rell. SacrcB, i. 394 sqq. (ed. 1846), 
who obtained a fresh collation of 
the Manuscript. Credner has also 
examined it in his Zur Geschichte 
des Kanons, 71 sqq. (1847), and again 
in his posthumous Geschichte des 
N. T. Kanon, i860, to which the 
editor (G. Volkmar) has added an 
Appendix of his own upon the text 
and interpretation of this 'Tractate' 
as he prefers to call it. The com- 
plete text and context of the Frag- 
ment is given in App. C. The 
edition by Dr Tregelles accompanied 
by a facsimile (Oxford, 1867) is in 
every way the most complete which 
has appeared, and is practically ex- 
haustive. [The new monograph by 
F. H. Hesse {Das MuratorV sche 
Fragment, Giessen 1873) is still more 
elaborate and full than that of Dr 
Tregelles. The learned author, in 

his desire to leave no difficulty un- 
solved, has overlooked in many cases 
the actual conditions of the problem 
offered by a careless copy of an arche- 
type already imperfect. I cannot 
see that he takes any account of 
the most instructive phenomena fur- 
nished by the Fragment of Ambrose. 

^ Murat. /. c. : Adservat Ambrosi- 
ana Mediolanensis Bibliotheca mem- 
branaceum codicem e Bobiensi ac- 
ceptum, cujus antiquitas psene ad 
annos mille accedere mihi visa est. 
Scriptus enim fuit litteris majusculis 
et quadratis. Titulus praefixus om- 
nia tribuit Joanni Chrysostomo, sed 
immerito. Mutilum in principio co- 
dicem deprehendi...Ex hoc ergo co- 
dice ego decerpsi fragmentum anti- 
quissimum ad Canonem Divinarum 
Scripturarum spectans. A more 
complete description of the Manu- 
script is given in App. C. 

P 2 



Chap. ii. 

The date of 
its C07HpOsi- 

theories as to 
its author- 

remains to indicate the limits which its author assigned 
to the Canon ; and the general sense is sufficiently clear 
to shew the authority which he claimed for it. 

The date of the composition of the Fragment is given 
by the allusion made in it to Hermas, which has been 
already quoted. It claims to have been written by a 
contemporary of Pius, and cannot on that supposition 
be placed much later than 170 A.D.^ Internal evidence 
fully confirms its claim to this high a;ntiquity ; and it 
may be regarded on the whole as a summary of the 
opinion of the Western Church on the Canon shortly 
after the middle of the second century^ Though it 
adds but little to what has been already obtained iri de- 
tail from separate sources, yet by combination and con- 
trast it gives a new effect to the general result It serves 
to connect the isolated facts in which we have recognised 
different elements of the Canon ; and by its accurate 
coincidence with these justifies the belief thctt it \vas 
confined approximately within the same limits from the 

There is no sufficient evidence to determine the au- 
thorship of the Fragment. Muratori supposed that it 
was written by Caius the Roman Presbyter, and his 
opinion for a time found acceptance^ Another scholar 
confidently attributed it to Papias, and perhaps with as 
good reason*. Bunsen again affirms that it is a transla- 
tion from Hegesippus^ But such guesses are barely in- 

^ Pastorem vero nuperrime tem- 
poribus nostris in tirbe Roma Hem'va 
conscripsit, sedente cathedra urbis 
Romse ecclesias Pio episcopo fratre 
ejus. Gf. p. iq6. The date of the 
episcopate of Pius is variously given 
127 — 142 and 142 — 157. The state- 
ment in the text of the Fragment 
is perfectly clear, definite, and con- 
sistent with its contents, and there 

can be no reason either to question its 
accuracy or to interpret it loosely. 

^ The Books it omits are noticed 
below, p. 219. 

3 Cf. Routh, I. p. 398 ff. 

^ [Simon de Magistris] Daniel 
seaindiim ZXA'... MDCCLXXli. Dis- 
sert. IV.- pp. 467 ff. 

° Hippolyhis and his Age, i. p. 




genious ; and the opinions of those who assign it to the 
fourth century, or doubt its authenticity altogether, 
scarcely deserve mention \ 

The exact character of the work to which the Frag- 
ment belonged is scarcely more certain than its author- 
ship ^ The form of composition is rather apologetic 
than historical, and it is not unlikely that it formed part 
of a Dialogue with some heretic"^ unless indeed, as seems 
probable, it is made up of detached pieces taken from 
different parts of a considerable work*. One point alone 
can be made out with tolerable certainty. The recur- 
rence of Greek idioms appears conclusive as to the fact 
that it is a translation^, and this agrees well with its 

^ Such is also the decision of Cred- 
ner, a most impartial judge : Ztir 
Gesch. (i. K. p. 93. 

^ It is not necessary to enter into 
the theory of Credner, which has 
been also supported by Volkmar, 
that the Fragment is in fact a com- 
plete Tractattis de Libris quos Ec- 
clesia Catholic a Apostolic a recipit 
{Gesch. de N. T. Kanon, 153). The 
internal character of the Fragment 
seems to me to be absolutely deci- 
sive against such a view ; and it 
would be hardly possible to indicate 
the circumstances under which any 
Christian writer would have ven- 
tured to publish such a tract in such 
a form, while the substance of the 
Fragment would naturally fall within 
the scope of a discussion with some 
non-Catholic adversary. Happily 
little or nothing turns upon the 
view which is taken of the original 
form of the Fragment. 

It may be well to add that, 
though the details of the text are 
obscure and in part corrupt, the 
general sense of the Fragment is per- 
fectly clear, so far as concerns the 
reception or rejection of particular 

^ e.g. De quibus singulis necesse 

est a nobis disputari...Recipimus... 
Quidam ex nostris. 

^ Comp. p. 219. 

^ Hesse maintains at some length 
the originality of the Latin text (§§ 
25 — 39). In such a case the judg- 
ment must depend on a perception 
of style, and not simply on isolated 
phrases. If the Fragment be thus 
studied as a whole, I can scarcely 
suppose that any one who has had 
much experience in Greek and Latin 
composition will question that the 
Latin text is a translation. Special 
arguments are more or less preca- 
rious, but the following deserve con- 
sideration. I. The usage of the 
particles is rather Greek than Latin : 
e.g. quibiis ita... ; domi- 
num tamen nee iidem...ita 
et. ..nan solum.. .sed et. . .sed et. . . ; sed 
et principiujn ; et Johannes enim. 

2. Some phrases appear to reflect 
a Greek form : nihil differt credentium 
fidei {oideu 5ia(p4pei rrj Triaret) ; qucs 

recipi non potest (a irapoKaix^dveadai 
ov dvyardv or ov dv^araL) ; finctce ad 
hceresim {rrpbs tt]v a'ipeaLv) ; dicens in 
semetipso. Perhaps the form Spania 
(STToi/ta) for Hispania may be added. 

3. The writing evidently emanated 
from Rome (profectionem Pauli ab 

Chap. ii. 

Probably a 
Jragntent of 
some Greek 



Roman origin, for Greek continued to be even at a later 
period the ordinary language of the Roman Church. 

The Fragment commences with the last words of a 
sentence which evidently referred to the Gospel of St 
Mark\ The Gospel of St Luke, it is then said, stands 
third in order [in the Canon], having been written by 
' Luke the physician ' the companion of St Paul, who, 
not being himself an eye-witness, based his narrative on 
such information as he could obtain, beginning from 
the birth of John. The fourth place is given to the 
Gospel of St John ' a disciple of the LordV and the 
occasion of its composition is thus described : * At the 
' entreaties of his fellow-disciples and his bishops John 

* said : Fast with nte for three days from this time, and 
' whatever shall be revealed to each of us [whether it be 
' favourable to my writing or not]^ let its relate it to one 

* another. On the same night it was revealed to Andrew 
' one of the Apostles that John should relate all things 
' in his own name, aided by the revision of all*'...* what 

urbe)^ and there is no trace of any 
Latin writing at Rome as early as 
the Fragment (comp. Part ii. c. ii. § 3). 
It may be added that Hesse fixes the 
composition of the Fragment at Rome, 
(§§43 fF.) some time 'before Irenaeus, 
Clement, and Tertullian ' (§ 48). The 
volume in which the Fragment is found 
contains among other pieces transla- 
tions from Chrysostom. 

^ The Fragment is given at length 
in App. C, to which reference must 
be made for the original text of the 
passages here quoted, and for the 
necessary critical remarks. 

2 Credner insists on this title dis- 
ciple when compared with the title 
one of the Apostles given to Andrew, 
as shewing that the writer of the 
Fragment distinguishes the ^disciple 
'John ' the author of the Gospel and 
the first Epistle from the '■Apostle 
'John ' the author of the Apocalypse 

and the second and third Epistles 
(a. a. O. pp. 159 if. ). The title is pro- 
bably borrowed from St John's own 
usage : vi. 3 ; xii. 4 ; xiii. 23 ; <S^<r., 
and especially xix. 26 f. ; xxi. 24. No- 
thing in the Fragment itself suggests 
a distinction between the Johns whom 
it names. 

^ In spite of Hesse's objections I 
can find no other sense in the words. 
The whole tenor of the passage ap- 
pears to me to exclude the idea that 
each was to await revelations which 
should furnish the contents of the 
new gospel, whether in the way of a 
quickened memory (John xiv. 26), 
or a better understanding (John xvi. 
13), Hesse, p. 91. The otda/jLev in 
St John xxi. 24 seems to point to 
'the revision.' 

^ Cf. Routh, I. pp. 409 sq. 'The 
' particulars as to the fast and the 
' revelation of which Jerome says ec- 




' wonder is it then that John brings forward each detail 
' with so much emphasis even in his Epistles \ saying of 
' himself, what we have seen with our eyes and heard with 
' our ears and our hands have handled, these things have 
' we written to you f For so he professes that he was 

* not only an eye-witness, but also a hearer, and more- 
' over a historian of all the wonderful works of the Lord 
' in order V 

Though there is no trace of any reference to the 
Gospel of St Matthew, it is impossible not to believe 
that it occupied the first place among the four Gospels 
of the anonymous writer^ Assuming this, it is of im- 
portance to notice that he regards our Canonical Gospels 
as essentially one in purpose, contents, and inspiration. 
He draws no distinction between those which were 
written from personal knowledge, and those which rested 
on the teaching of others. He alludes to no doubt as to 
their authority, no limit as to their reception, no differ- 
ence as to their usefulness. ' Though various ideas 
' {principia) are taught in each of the Gospels, it makes 
' no difference to the faith of believers, since in all of 

* them all things are declared by one sovereign Spirit* 

' clesiastica narrat historia [De Virr. 
' ///. IX.) seem to be found in no 
' extant writer except this Fragment.' 
Tregelles, p. 35, The passage in 
Jerome is important as indicating 
probably the general character of 
the book to which the Fragment be- 

^ Or Epistle, for the plural is used 
in post-classical writers (as Justin) 
for a single letter. 

2 The writer evidently refers the 
scripsimus — a reading which is still 
found in two at least of the most 
ancient Latin copies in i John i. 4 — 
to the Gospel. He may have had a 
false reading and he may have been 
mistaken in his interpretation, but I 

see no justification for the statement 
that 'in his zeal [he] goes so far as 
'to falsify a passage of the Epistle...' 
{Supernat. Rel. Ii. 385). 

2 As bearing upon the authorship 
of the Fragment it may be noticed 
that the order of the Gospels is not 
that of the African Church, in which 
according to the oldest authorities 
Matthew and John stood first. And 
if the Fragment was not of African 
origin it follows almost certainly that 
it was not originally written in Latin. 
There is no evidence of the existence 
of Christian Latin Literature out of 
Africa till about the close of the 
second century. 

4 Uno z.cprincipali Spiritu. Prin- 



' concerning the Nativity, the Passion, the Resurrection, 
' the conversation [of our Lord] with His disciples, and 
' His double Advent, first in humble guise, which has 
' taken place, and afterwards in royal power, which is yet 
' future\' This the earliest recognition of the distinctness 
and unity of the Gospels, of their origin as due to human 
care and Divine guidance, is as complete as any later 
testimony. The Fragment lends no support to the 
theory which supposes that they were gradually sepa- 
rated from the mass of similar books. Their peculiar 
position is clear and marked ; and there is not the 
slightest hint that it was gained after a doubtful struggle 
or only at a late date. Admit that our Gospels were 
regarded from the first as authoritative records of 
Christ's Life even when they did not supersede the living 
record of Apostolic tradition, and then this new testi- 
mony explains and confirms the fragmentary notices 
which alone witness to the earlier belief: deny that it 
was so, and the language of one who had probably con- 
versed with Polycarp at Rome becomes an unintelligible 
riddle. It would be necessary in that case to suppose 
that the Gospels had usurped a place during his lifetime 
to which before they had only made claim in common 
with other rivals, and yet he speaks of them as if they 
had always occupied it. 

Next to the Gospels the book of the Acts is men- 
tioned as containing a record by St Luke ' of those acts 
' of all the Apostles which fell under his own notice.' 
That this was the rule which he prescribed to himself is 

cipalis is used to translate -qyeixoviKos 
in Ps. li. 12 Vulg., and Iren. c. Har. 
III. II. 8 [bis]. 

1 It is frequently asserted that we 
have in this passage, taken in con- 
nexion with the context, an 'apolo- 
' getic defence of the fourth Gospel, 

' which necessarily implies antecedent 
' denial of its authority and apostolic 
' origin.' As far as I can see, the 
explanation applies equally to the 
four Gospels, and not to any one in 




shewn, it is added, by ' the omission of the martyrdom 
' of Peter and the journey of Paul to Spain V 

Thirteen Epistles are attributed to St Paul ; of these 
nine were addressed to Churches, and four to individual 
Christians. The first class suggests an analogy with the 
Apocalypse. As St John when writing for all Christen- 
dom wrote spejcially to seven Churches, so St Paul also 
' wrote by name only to seven Churches, shewing thereby 
' the unity of the Catholic Church, though he wrote 

* twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for their 

* correction I' The order in which these Epistles are 
enumerated is remarkable : I and 2 Corinthians, Ephe- 
sians, Philippians, Colossians, Galatians, i and 2 Thessa- 
lonians, Romans. This order may have been determined 
by a particular view of their contents, since it appears 
that the author attributed to St Paul a special purpose 
in each Epistle, saying that * he wrote at greater length 
' first to the Corinthians to forbid heretical schism ; after- 
' wards to the Galatians to put a stop to circumcision ; 

* then to the Romans, according to the rule of the [Old 

* Testament] Scriptures, shewing at the same time that 

* Christ was the foundation of them I' The second class 
includes all that are received now : ' an Epistle to Phile- 
' mon, one to Titus, and two to Timothy/ which though 
written only 'from personal feeling and affection, are 

* still hallowed in the respect of the Catholic Church, for 

* {or in) the arrangement of ecclesiastical discipline.' 

At this point the Fragment diverges to spurious or 

1 This appears to be the sense of relative chronological order of these 
the clause, though the text is undoubt- 
edly .corrupt. See App. C. It may be 
observed that this is the first refer- 
ence to the book of the Acts by name. 

2 Routh has a good note (i. pp. 
416 sqq.) on the symbolism of the 
number seven. 

3 It will be observed that the 

epistles is rightly given. Cf. Light- 
foot, Galatians, 44 ff. 

If the reading ordmeinho. adopted, 
the sense will be 'pointing out the 
' rule— the consistent revelation — of 
' the Old Testament, and at the same 
♦time that ' 



disputed books, and the exact words are of importance. 
' Moreover,' it is said, * there is in circulation an Epistle 
'to the Laodiceans, [and] another to the Alexandrians 
' forged under the name of Paul bearing on the heresy of 
'Marcion^ and several others which cannot be received 
'into the Catholic Church. For gall ought not to be 
* mixed with honey. The Epistle of Jude however {sa7ie) 
*and two Epistles bearing the name of John'^ are re- 
' ceived in the Catholic [Church] {or are reckoned among- 
'the Catholic [Epistles]) ^ And the book of Wisdom 
'written by the friends of Solomon in his honour [is 
' acknowledged]. We receive moreover the Apocalypses 
' of John and Peter only, which [latter] some of our body 
' will not have read in the Church.' 

After this mention is made of the Shepherd*, and of 
the writings of Valentinus, Basilides, and others : and so 
the Fragment ends abruptly. 

^ Nothing is known of the Epistle 
to the Alexandrians. The attempt 
to identify it with that to the He- 
brews is not supported by the slight- 
est external evidence. The Epistle 
to the Laodiceans is also involved in 
great obscurity. The Epistle to the 
Ephesians bore that name in Mar- 
cion's collection of St Paul's Epistles, 
and the text may contain an inac- 
curate allusion to it. In Jerome's 
time there was an ' Epistle to the 
* Laodiceans rejected by all.' Cf. 
Routh, I. pp. 420 sqq. The remark- 
able cento of Pauline phrases which 
is frequently found in Manuscripts 
of the Vulgate under this name was 
undoubtedly of Latin origin. The first 
evidence of its existence occurs in 
the Speculum published by Mai, and 
the Latin Manuscript of La Cava 
(viiith cent.), both of which recog- 
nise the spurious clause in i John v. 
7. From the sixth century down- 
ward it is very commonly found in 
Manuscripts of the Vulgate, and 

seems to have been especially popular 
in the English Church. See below, 
Part III. 

2 Hesse rightly, as I now believe, 
objects to the rendering ' John who 
*has been mentioned above ' (§ 234). 
The translation given will hold 
equally whether superscripti or super- 
scripted be read. 

3 The reading of the Manuscript 
\%in Catholica, and Routh (i. 425; 
III. 44) has shewn that Tertullian 
{de Prcescr. Hcer. 30) and later wri- 
ters sometimes omit ecclesia. The 
context on the other hand favours 
the correction in Catholicis, and I find 
that it has been adopted by Bunsen 
{Hippolytus, II. 136), who first gave 
what is certainly the true connexion 
of the passage. I do not know 
whether there is any earlier instance 
of KadoXiKTj eiridToXy] than in a frag- 
ment of Apollonius (Euseb. H. E. 
V. 18), who was a contemporary of 

^ See page 196, note 3. 




It will then be noticed that there is no special enu- 
meration of the acknowledged Catholic Epistles — i Peter 
and I John^: that the Epistle of St James, 2 Peter, and 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, are also omitted : but that 
with these exceptions every book in our New Testament 
Canon is acknowledged, and one book only added to it 
— the Apocalypse of St Peter — which it is said was not 
universally admitted. 

The character of the omissions helps to explain them. 
The first Epistle of St John is quoted in an earlier part 
of the Fragment, though it is not mentioned in its 
proper place, either after the Acts of the Apostles, or 
after the Epistles of St Paul : there is no evidence that 
the first Epistle of St Peter was ever disputed, and it 
has been shewn that it was quoted by Polycarp and 
Papias : the Epistle to the Hebrews and that of St 
James were certainly known in the Roman Church, and 
they could scarcely have been altogether passed over in 
an enumeration of books in which the Epistle of St Jude, 
and even Apocryphal writings of heretics, found a place. 
The cause of the omissions cannot have been ignorance 
or doubt. It must be sought either in the character of 
the writing, or in the present condition of the text. 

The present forrn of the Fragment makes the idea of 
a chasm in it very probable ; and more than this, the 
want of coherence between several parts seems to shew 
that it was not all continuous originally, but that it has 
been made up of three or four different passages from 
some unknown author, collected on the same principle 
as the quotations in Eusebius from Papias, Irenaeus, 
Clement, and Origen^ On either supposition it is easy 

1 The context tends to shew that Hcer. iii. 16. 8; and App. C. 

the '/wi? Epistles of St John' are the ^ The connexion appears to be 

Second and Third Epistles. Com- broken in at least two places ; but 

pare however p. 77, n. 2 : Iren. c. as the general sense of the text is 



to explain the omissions, and if it is urged that these 
explanations of the omissions in the Fragment are con- 
jectural, it must be admitted at once that the objection 
is valid against their positive force. But on the other 
hand it is to be noticed that the position in the Chris- 
tian Canon which was occupied by the books which are 
passed over calls for some explanation. The Epistle to 
the Hebrews for example is just that of which the 
earliest and most certain traces are found at Rome\ 
Any one who maintains the integrity of the text must 
be able to shew how it came to be left out in the enu- 
meration I 

One other point must be noted as to the general 
character of this Fragment. The writer speaks through- 
out of a received and general opinion. He does hot 
suggest a novel theory about the Apostolic books, but 
states what was held to be certainly known. He does 
not hazard an individual judgment, but appeals to the 
practice of ' the Catholic Church.' There was not indeed 
complete unanimity with regard to all the writings claim- 
ing to be apostolical, but the frank recognition of the 
divergence of opinion on the Revelation of Peter gives 
weight to the assumed agreement as to the authority 
and use of the other books. 

A fragment of Melito Bishop of Sardis in the time of 
Marcus Antoninus, who must have been for many years 
the contemporary of Polycarp, adds a trait which is 

not affected by this view a detailed 
examination of it is reserved for the 

1 See p. 24. 

2 It is not, I now think, possible 
to lay any stress on Bunsen's suppo- 
sition that the reference to Pro- 
verbs (Wisdom) as written ' by the 

* friends of Solomon ' was occasioned 
by the mention of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews as written by the friend of 
St Paul; nor yet on the conjecture in 
Catholicis as implying a central group 
of ' Catholic ' Epistles among which 
2, 3 John and Jude were reckoned. 




wanting in the Fragment on the Canon \ In that the 
books of the New Testament are spoken of as having 
individual authority, and being distinguished by eccle- 
siastical use ; but nothing is said of them in their col- 
lected form, or in relation to the Jewish Scriptures. The 
words of Melito on the other hand are simple and casual, 
and yet their meaning can scarcely be mistaken. He 
writes to Onesimus a fellow-Christian, who had urged 
him ' to make selections for him from the Law and the 

* Prophets concerning the Saviour and the Faith gene- 

* rally, and furthermore desired to learn the accurate 
' account of the Old (iraXaicov) Books ; ' ' having gone 

* therefore to the East,' Melito says, 'and reached the spot 
' where [each thing] was preached and done, and having 
' learned accurately the Books of the Old Testa,ment, I 
'have sent a list of them.' The mention of 'the Old 
Books ' — ' the Books of the Old Testament,' — naturally 
implies a recognition of the New Books, of ' the Books 
of the New Testament,' a written antitype to the Old^ 
But there is little evidence in the fragment of Melito 
to shew what writings he would have included in the 

1 Melito presented an Apology to could be nO meaning, in the two corn- 
Marcus Antoninus after the death of plementary phrases. Reuss' remark 
Aurelius Verus (a.d. 169) ; and, as is instructive : Eusebe a transcrit fa 
appears from a passage quoted by preface de cet ouvrage qui contient 
Eusebius (fiera rod TraiSos, IV. 26), une enumeration de tous les livres de 
at a time -when Commodus was ad- I'ancienne Alliance et qui en parle de 
mitted to share the imperial power maniere a faire voir que Meliton n^a- 
(a.d. 176). His treatise on the Pass- vazf aticmie idee dhine autre collection 
over probably belongs to an earlier de livres sacres [Hist, du Canon, 43). 
date. The persecution * in which The point of the argument lies in the 
* Sagaris was martyred ' (Euseb. /. c.) reference to ' the BookSf 'the Books 
may have been that in which Poly- of the Old Testament;' and its force 
carp also suffered (a.d. 156). will be felt by a comparison with 

2 Euseb. H. E. iv. 26.- This ap- Origen's words L.-e/crcDv iremaTevfxi- 
pears to be the natural interpretation vo3v riixiv ehai ddwv ypacpQv ttjs re 
of phrases like yu.a^etj' T77J' Twj' TraXatcDi' '\€yoiJ.4ur]s iraXaids diaOijKrji Kal rrj^ 
^i^XLuv i^ov'hrjOrjs aKpL^eiav, and cLKpL- KaKovfMhrjs Kaiurjs {De Princ. IV. i). 
^cDs fxadeiu to, tt]S TraXatas dtadrjKr)^ Comp. p. 191, n. 2, al KvpiaKai ypa- 
^L^Xia. Unless these ancient books 0aL 

were contrasted with others there 



new collection. He wrote a treatise on the Apocalypse, 
and the title of one of his essays is evidently borrowed 
from St Paul — ' On the obedience of Faith.' 

An ' Oration of Melito the philosopher who was in 
'the presence of Antoninus Csesar' has been preserved 
in a Syriac translation ; and though if it be entire it is 
not the Apology with which Eusebius was acquainted, 
the general character of the writing leads to the belief 
that it is a genuine book of Melito of Sardis. Like 
other Apologies this Oration contains only indirect refer- 
ences to the Christian Scriptures. The allusions in it to 
the Gospels are extremely rare and, except so far as 
they shew the influence of St John's writings, of no spe- 
cial interest. But the conception of God as the ' Father 
'and God of Truth V the Absolute and Self-existent '^ 
'Who is Himself Truth and His Word TruthV as con- 
trasted with the vanity of idols, is a remarkable proof of 
the manner in which the highest Christian doctrine was 
used in controversy with heathen adversaries. The coinci- 
dences with the Epistles are more numerous. Those with 
St James and i Peter are particularly worthy of notice'^; 
and one passage offers a very remarkable resemblance 
to 2 Peter ^ 

^ Cureton, Spicilegium Syriacut7t, 
p. 42. 

2 Id. p. 41. 

3 Id. p. 45. 

* * Light without envy is given to 
' all of us that we may see thereby ' 
(id. p. 42). ' With [the Lord] there 
' is no jealousy of giving the know- 
* ledge of Himself to them that seek 
' it ' {id. p. 48). Compare James 
i. 5ff. 

* When thou C?esar shalt learn 
'these things thyself and thy chil- 
*dren also with thee, thou wilt be- 
' queath to them an eternal inherit- 
' ance which fadeth not away ' [id. 
p. 51). Compare i Peter i. 4. 

^ ' There was once a flood and a 
' wind and the chosen men were de- 
' stroyed by a mighty north wind... 
' at another time there was a flood of 
'waters... So also it will be at the 

* last time : there shall be a flood of 
' fire, and the earth shall be burnt up 
'together with its mountains, and 
' men shall be burnt up together with 
' their idols... and the sea together 
' with its isles shall be burnt ; and 
'the just shall be delivered from the 
'fury like their fellows in the Ark 

* from the waters of the deluge ' 
{id. pp. 50, 51). Compare 1 Peter 
iii. 5—7. 

The first allusion in the quotation 




But the evidence which remains of the remarkable 
literary activity of MeHto is more important than the 
direct bearing which the fragments of his books have 
upon the Christian Canon. The titles of his works which 
have been preserved by Eusebius — and he implies that 
the list is not complete— bear a striking witness to the 
energy of speculation within the Church in the second 
century. Scarcely any branch of theological inquiry was 
left untouched by him : and the variety of his treatises 
is a witness to the variety of Christian culture in his age. 
And more than this : it is a presumptive argument of 
the greatest force against the possibility of any revolu- 
tion in the Creed and constitution of the Church, such as 
is supposed to have been effected in his time by a series of 
supposititious Apostolic writings. The character of his 
inquiries shews that the broad outlines of Christianity 
were already clearly defined. Morality, Ritual, Psycho- 
logy, Dogma, had already become subjects for system- 
atic treatment. Thus in addition to the books already 
quoted he wrote on Hospitality — on Easter, and on the 
Lord's day {irepi KvpiaKri^) — on the Church, on [Christian] 
Citizenship {irepl iroXiTela^) and Prophets, on Prophecy, 
on Truth, and on Baptism {irepl Xourpov) — on the Crea- 
tion {fCTLcrc^) and Birth of Christ, on the nature of Man, 
and on the Soul and Body — on the Formation of the 
World {'irepl TrA-aVew?), and (according to one reading) 

is to the destruction of the tower of 
Babe], which is mentioned in similar 
terms in the Sibylline Oracles, in. 
no fF. In the same passage of the 
Sibyllines there is also a description 
of the future destruction of the world 
by fire : Ka2 Tr^aerai TroKv/j.opcpos oXos 
ttSXos h x^oi'i lia. Kai veK&yW 
peicTH bh irvpb'i fiaXepov KarapaKTrjs 
'AKCLfiaros, (pX^^ei 5^ yaXav (pXi^ei S^ 
6aXa<x(rav. In other passages the same 

final catastrophe is described in simi- 
lar terms: ii. 196 fif.; vir, 118 ff. &^c., 
and it is impossible therefore to affirm 
that the reference in Melito is to 2 
Peter and not rather to the Sibyllines 
or to the wide-spread tradition on 
which they rested. [Dr Tregelles' 
argument [Can. Murat. pp. 103 — 4) 
leaves me still unable to admit the 
certainty of the reference to 2 Peter. 




on the Organs of sense — on the Interpretation of Scrip- 
ture [t] k\6l<;) — on the Devil, and on the Incarnation^ 
(jrepl ivacofidfov 6eov). 

Of these multifarious writings very few fragments 
remain in the original Greek, but the general tone of 
them is so decided in its theological character as to go 
far to establish the genuineness of those which are pre- 
served in the Syriac translation. One of these said to 
be taken from the treatise 07i Faith is a very striking 
expansion of the early historic Creed of the Church, and 
deserves on every account to be quoted in fulP. 'We 
' have made collections from the Law and the Prophets 
' relative to those things which have been declared re- 
'specting our Lord Jesus Christ^ that we may prove to 
' your love that He is perfect Reason, the Word of God; 
' Who was begotten before the light ; Who was Creator 
'.together with the Father; who was the Fashioner of 

1 Euseb. H. E. IV. 26. It may 
be well to add Dr Cureton's trans- 
lation of the Syriac version of this 
passage, which differs in some places 
from the Greek : ' The treatises [of 
' Melito] with which we have become 
' acquainted are the following : On 

* Easter two, and On Polity and On 
' the Prophets ; and another On the 
' Church and another On the First 
' Day of the Week ; and again an- 

* other On the Faith of Man {i.e. 
' irepl iriarecas, not irepl 0(5(rewj dv- 
' dpbiirov) and another On his For- 

* mation ; and again another On the 
' hearing of the Ear of Faith ; and 
'besides these [one]. On the Soul 
'and Body; and again On Baptism 
' and On the Truth and On the 
' Faith; and On the Birth of Christ 

* and On the word of his Prophecy ; 
'and again On the Soul and on the 
' Body ; and another On the love of 

* Strangers, and On Satan and On 
' the Revelation of John ; and again 

'another On God who put on the 
' Body ; and again another which he 
* wrote to the Emperor Antoninus ' 
[Spicilegium Syriaciim, p. 57). Some 
of the variations are interesting, as 
in the clauses corresponding to 6 
irepl vTTUKOTJs Triarews [kuI 6 irepl] 
al(T9r]Tr)pL(au and irepl Krlaecos Kal 
yevSaeu}? Xpiarou. One treatise {tj 
/fXets) is omitted, and one {irepl 
xpvxvs Kal (xujfjLaTos;) reckoned twice. 

^ It should however be added that 
this fragment is attributed in an 
Armenian version and in a shorter 
Syriac version to Irenseus. Comp. 
Pitra, Spicil. Solesm. i. 3 ff. ; ii., viii. 
and 59. 

^ The remarkable coincidence of 
these words with the fragment 
quoted by Eusebius (//. E. iv. 26) 
is a strong proof of the genuineness 
of the fragment : ri^L0}(TaS:..yii'ia6ac 
aoL eK\oya$ ^k re tov vo/j-ov Kal 
T(3u irp o<Pi)tC}v irepl tov liwrij- 
pos Kal iraa-rjs ttj^ irlaTews i}/j.Qv. 



man ; Who was all in all ; Who among the Patriarchs 
was Patriarch ; Who in the law was the Law ; among 
the priests Chief Priest; among kings Governor; among 
prophets the Prophet ; among the Angels Archangel ; 
in the Voice the Word ; among spirits Spirit ; in the 
Father the Son ; in God God, the King for ever and 
ever. For this was He who was Pilot to Noah ; Who 
conducted Abraham ; Who was bound with Isaac ; 
Who was in exile with Jacob ; Who was sold with 
Joseph ; Who was Captain with Moses ; Who was the 
Divider of the inheritance with Jesus the son of Nun ; 
Who in David and the Prophets foretold His own suf- 
ferings ; Who was incarnate in the Virgin ; Who was 
born at Bethlehem ; Who was wrapped in swaddling 
clothes in the manger ; Who was seen of shepherds ; 
Who was glorified of Angels ; Who was worshipped by 
the Magi ; Who was pointed out by John ; Who as- 
sembled the Apostles ; Who preached the kingdom ; 
Who healed the maimed ; Who gave light to the blind ; 
Who raised the dead ; Who appeared in the Temple ; 
Who was not believed on by the people ; Who was be- 
trayed by Judas ; Who was laid hold on by the Priests ; 
Who was condemned by Pilate ; Who was pierced in 
the flesh ; Who was hanged upon the tree ; Who was 
buried in the earth ; Who rose from the dead ; Who 
appeared to the Apostles ; Who ascended to heaven ; 
Who sitteth on the right hand of the Father ; Who is 
the Rest of those that are departed, the Recoverer of 
those who are lost, the Light of those who are 
in darkness, the Deliverer of those who are cap- 
tives, the Finder of those who have gone astray, 
the Refuge of the afflicted, the Bridegroom of the 
Church, the Charioteer of the Cherubim, the Captain 
of the Angels, God who is of God, the Son who is 
C. ' Q 



Chap. ii. 


* of the Father, Jesus Christ, the King for ever and 
'ever. AmenV 

No writer could state the fundamental truths of 
Christianity more unhesitatingly or refer to the contents 
of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments with 
more perfect confidence. The subject of the passage 
offers full scope for the exhibition of these character- 
istics, but they are also found in a greater or less degree 
in all the other fragments of Melito's writings which 
admit of similar expressions of faith. The fact is of great 
significance, for it explains what might have seemed to 
be a certain dryness in most of the quotations which 
have been hitherto made. This fragment is clearer in 
its witness to the doctrinal and devotional use of Holy 
Scripture than any which has been yet noticed, because 
it is taken from a treatise addressed to believers, and 
that upon their Faith. Elsewhere we have heard the 
language of the Church to those without : here we are 
enabled to listen to the familiar language of Christians 
one to another. For once we catch the clear accents of 
faith. No heathen audience keeps back the expression 
of divine mysteries. In place of the constrained lan- 
guage of the Apology we listen to the triumphant 

1 Cureton, Spicilegium Syriaatvt, 
PP- 53> 54- Comp. Bp. Lightfoot, 
C.R. Lc. pp. 481 fF. 

^ This is not the place to discuss 
the genuineness of the Latin trans- 
lation of the Clavis attributed to 
Melito, which has been at length (cf. 
Routh, I. pp. 141 fif.) published by 
J. B. Pitra in the Spicilegium Soles- 
mense. It is enough to say that I 
cannot believe that in its present 
form it fairly represents the work 
of the Bishop of Saidis, even if it 
may possibly have been based upon it. 

As far as I have observed, the 
four Gospels are simply quoted as 
In Evangclio, without any further 
addition. The Epistles generally as 
In Apostolo. The only books of the 
New Testament from which no quo- 
tations are found are James, Jude, 
a, 3 John. The Revelatioji is quoted 
as In Apocalypsi, and a passage from 
2 Peter (ii. 17) is quoted twice : Cla- 
vis, ITI. 14; IV. 25. The reference 
to I Peter ii. 5 is wrongly given by 
Pitra to 2 Peter ii. 5. 




The testimony of Melito finds a natural confirmation 
in a fragment of a contemporary writer^ Claudius Apol- 
linaris Bishop of Hierapolisl When discussing the time 
for the celebration of Easter he writes : ' Some say that 
'the Lord ate the lamb with His disciples on the 14th 

* (of Nisan), and suffered himself on the great day of 

* unleavened bread ; and they state that Matthew's narra- 
' tive is in accordance with their view ; while it follows 
' that their view is at variance with the Law, and accord- 
' ing to them the Gospels seem to disagreel' The Gos- 
pels are evidently quoted as books certainly known and 
recognised and not as books emerging with difficulty 

^ Claudius Apollinaris also pre- 
sented an Apology to Marcus Anto- 
ninus c. 174 A.D. Hieron. de Viri\ 
III. c. 26. ^ Cf. Euseb. H. E. iv. 26. 

^ There is not any sufficient ground 
for doubting the genuineness of 
these fragments ' On Easter ' in the 
fact that Eusebius mentions no such 
book by Apollinaris. The words of 
Eusebius {H. E. iv. 27) are 'that 
' there were many works of Apolli- 
*naris in circulation, of which he 
'enumerates only those which had 
'come into his own hands:' rov d' 
AwoXLuapiov iroWQv irapa ttoWois 
crixj^ofievcuu ra els ij/jids iXdSvra iari 
Ta5e...The two fragments are pre- 
served in the Paschal ox Alexandrine 
Chronicle (viith cent,). Cf Routh, 
I. pp. 167 sq. Lightfoot /. c. 486 if. 

3 Claud. Ai^oll. fr. ap, Routh, i. 
p. 160: KoX diTjyovuTac Marda^ov 
GVTta \iyei.v wy vevoT^Kaatv 'odev aavix- 
ipoipSs T€ Tcp vofiip r/ vorjffLS avTuou, 
Kal ffTacrid^eij/ doKeX /car' auroi)s to, 
fvayyiXia. It seems strange that the 
Asiatic 'Paschal Controversy' should 
still be urged against the Johannine 
authorship of the Fourth Gospel, 
which certainly was recognised by 
the Asiatic 'School of St John.' The 
peculiarity of the Asiatic Churches 
was that they observed the 14th of 

Nisan (z. e. the day of the month 
and not the day of the week) as their 
Paschal Festival. This was the centre 
of the controversy. Now St John 
fixes the Death of the Lord as the 
true Passover, on the 14th; and there 
is every reason to believe that the 
Christian Paschal Festival was origi- 
nally the commemoration (as it natu- 
rally would be) of the Death of the 
Lord and not of the Last Supper or 
of the Resurrection. Nothing there- 
fore can be a more baseless assertion 
than that Polycarp (or Claudius Apol- 
linaris) 'contradicted the statements 
' of the fourth Gospel ' by * contend- 
*ing that the Christian Festival 
'should be celebrated on the 14th 
'Nisan' {Stipernat. Eel. ii. -27 r. 
Comp. 198 f, 472 f.). Such an 
assertion involves two conclusions 
which not only cannot be proved 
but which are inherently most im- 
probable: (i) that the early Paschal 
Controversy turned on the choice of 
one of two days of the month and 
not on the choice of the day of the 
month or the day of the week mea- 
sured back from Easter Day (Sunday) ; 
and (2) that the original Paschal Fes- 
tival was a commemoration of the 
Last Supper and not of the Cruci- 




from a mass of competitors ; a contradiction between 
them is treated as impossible ; and it must be remem- 
bered that this testimony comes from the same place as 
that of Papias, and that no such interval had elapsed 
between the two Bishops as to allow of any organic 
change in the Church \ 

Two other apologists, Theophilus of Antioch, and 
Athenagoras of Athens, close the list of writers who 
belong to this age of apologists. Theophilus was, as it 
appears from his own writings, a heathen by birth and a 
native of the East ; and Eusebius adds that he was sixth 
bishop of Antioch in the time of Marcus Aurelius. 
He wrote several books for the purpose of Christian 
instruction {KaT'r]')(r)TiKa Tiva ^ij3\La), and among them 
three books to Autolycus {o-roix^LcoSr) G-vyypdfifjLara) in 
which he devotes himself to convincing a learned hea- 
then friend of the truth of Christianity. The personal 
and special character of his design gave him greater 
freedom than his predecessors in dealing with the Chris- 
tian Scriptures, and his references to them are propor- 
tionately wider in range and more explicit than those 
contained in the earlier apologists^ Thus he quotes the 
'evangehc voice' from a passage in St Matthew ^ and 
mentions St John by name as one of * those who were 
vessels of the Spirit' {7rvevfjLaTO(f)6pot), adding words from 
the Prologue to his Gospel as a specimen of his teach- 
ing''. Elsewhere his writingfs shew clear traces of St 

^ A second fragment of Apolli- 
naris is preserved, in which he makes 
an evident allusion to John xix. 34, 
and in such a way as to shew that 
the Gospel had become the subject 
of careful interpretation. He speaks 
of Christ as d Tr]v ayiav Tr\evpav ck- 
KevTTjdeis, 6 eKx^as iK rrjs nXevpas 
avTov TO. Sio ttoXlv Kadapaia vSuip 
Kcd atfia, \6yop Kat irvevixa.. 

^ Comp. p. 118. 

•^ iii. 13 II Matt. v. 28. 

* ii. 22. This is the earliest quo- 
tation of St John's Gospel by name 
which has been preserved. It is 
further worthy of notice that in the 
context the original distinction be- 
tween 'the sacred Scriptures' (i.e. 
the Old Testament), and 'the in- 
spired men' of later times still re- 




Paul's Epistles to the Romans, i, 2 Corinthians, Ephe- 
sians, Philippians, Colossians, i Timothy ^ and Titus; 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews and of the first Epistle of 
St Peter^ In a work now lost he used, according to 
Eusebius, 'testimonies from the Apocalypse^;' and Je- 
rome speaks of a harmony of 'the four Evangelists' 
which he composed*. 

The little that is certainly known of Athenagoras is 
derived from his own writings ; neither Eusebius nor 
Jerome give any account of him. He was, according to 
the superscription of his Apology, an Athenian and a 
philosopher ; and his Apology {TTpea^ela irepl Xpccr- 
navcov — A missio7t about Christians — the title is most 
remarkable) was addressed to M. Aurelius and his son 
Commodus^ In this there are certain though tacit re- 
ferences to the Gospels of St Matthew^ and St John^; 
and to the Epistles of St Paul to the Romans, Corinth- 
ians (i) and Galatians. The coincidences of thought 
or language with St Luke's Gospel and I Timothy are 
more questionable. In his discourse On the Resurrection 

mains, though elsewhere {e.g. iii. 14) 
Theophilus calls utterances of the 
New Testament 'divine,' and re- 
fers to one and the same source * the 
inspiration of the law, the prophets 
and the Gospel' (iii. 12). 

There is a reference to St Luke's 
Gospel, ii. 13 || Luke xviii. 2 7. 
Compare also iii. 2 init. with Luke 
i. 2. 

1 iii. 14 (0 Qeio% X670S) |i i Tim. 
ii. 2. 

"^ ii. 25 II Hebr. v. 12; xii. 9: 
ii. 34 (I I Pet. i. 18; iv. 3. The 
passage ii. 9 may be compared with 

1 Pet. i. 20, 21, and also ii. 13 with 

2 Pet. i. 19. The form of the open- 
ing of i. 2 recals James ii. 18; but 
these references are doubtful. 

3 Euseb. H. E. iv. 24. 

^ Hieron, Ep. 121 [ad Algasiam), 

§ 6. Theophilus... quatuor Evangel- 
istarum in unum opus dicta com- 
pingens...h3ec in suis Commentariis 
est locutus... Comp. Frol. in Matt. 
Jerome speaks more doubtfully (sub 
nomine ejus), de Virr. III. cxxv. 

5 This seems to be certainly es- 
tablished as against the supposition 
that the persons addressed are M. 
Aurelius and Lucius Verus. See 
Donaldson, Christiafi Literature, ill. 
108 ff. ; or Lardner, Credibility, ii. 
18 T ; or Otto's Prolegomena, § vil. 

^ e.g. Legal, xi. || Matt. v. 44, 45. 
' These, ' he says, ' are the words in 
which we are reared and with which 
we are nourished ' [ol Xo-^oi. oh hrpe- 

^ Legal. XII. II John xvii. 3; id. 
10 II John i. 3; X. 30; xvii. 21 ff. 



Athenagoras refers to St Paul as ' the apostle/ using 
thoughts from the Epistles to the Corinthians\ This, 
however, is the only direct citation which he makes, and 
his silence is the more 'important, because there can be 
no question that he was acquainted at any rate with the 
other writings of St Paul^ 

One section of our inquiry is now finished. We have 
examined all the evidence bearing on the history of the 
New Testament Canon which can be adduced from those 
who are recognised as Fathers of the Church during the 
period which has been marked out'. It has been shewn 
that up to this point one book alone of the New Testa- 
ment remains unnoticed : one Apocryphal book alone, 
and that doubtfully, placed within the limits of the 
Canon. There is not, so far as I am aware, in any 
Christian writer during the period which we have ex- 
amined either direct mention of or clear reference to the 
second Epistle of St Peter*; and the Apocalyse which 
bore his name partially usurped a place among the New 
Testament Scriptures. Nor is this all : it has been 
shewn also that the form of Christian doctrine current 

2 In one passage (LegaL xxxii.) 
Athenagoras appears to quote a tra- 
ditional saying of the Lord {\4yovTos 
Tov \6yov) which is not found else- 
where. Comp. httrod. to Study of 
the Gospels, Ap. C. no. 6. 

^ Tatian will be noticed in Chap. 


The beautiful letter of the Church 
of Smyrna giving an account of 
the martyrdom of Polycarp, written 
shortly after it (a.d. 156. Cf. Mart. 
Polyc. c. xviii.), contains several 
allusions to books of the New Tes- 
tament: e.g. Matt. X. 23 = c. iv.; 
Matt. xxvi. 55 = c. vii. ; Acts ix. 7 = 
c. ix. ; Acts xxi. 14 = c. vii. ; i Cor. 
ii. 9 = c. ii.; Rom. xiii. i, 7 = c. x. 

And besides several Pauline words 
occur: i^ayopdl;'€a6ai, ^pa^ecov, 6 
d\f'€v8r]s Geds. The doxology in c. 
xiv. is very noteworthy. While 
speaking of this letter I cannot but 
mention the admirable emendation 
by which Dr Wordsworth (Hippo- 
lytus, App.) has effectually explain- 
ed the famous passage about the 
Dove in c. xvi. For irepLaTepd /rai, 
by the change of one letter, and the 
omission of I before' a II following, 
he gives the true reading frepl otv- 
paKo.. On this narrative compare 
Bp. Lightfoot, C. R. Febr. 1876, 
pp. 473 ff. 

^ The reference in Mali to is not 
however to be neglected, see p. 222, 




throughout the Church, as represented by men most 
widely differing in national and personal characteristics, 
in books of the most varied aim and composition, is 
measured exactly by the Apostolic Canon. It has been 
shewn that this exact coincidence between the Scriptural 
rule and the traditional belief is more perfect and strik- 
ing in proportion as we apprehend more clearly the 
differences which coexist in both. It has been shewn 
that the New Testament in its integrity gives an ade- 
quate explanation of the progress of Christianity in its 
distinct types, and that there is no reason to believe 
that at any subsequent time such a creative power 
was active in the Church as could have called forth 
writings like those which we receive as Apostolic. 
They are the rule and not the fruit of the Church's 
development \ 

But at present the argument is incomplete. It is still 
necessary to inquire how far a Canon was publicly recog- 
nised by national Churches as well as by individuals — 
how far it was accepted even by those who separated 
from the orthodox communion, and on what grounds 
they rejected any part of it. These points will form the 
subject of the next two chapters, in which we shall ex- 
amine the most ancient Versions, of the East and West, 
and the writings of the earliest heretics. 

On the Patristic references to Books of the New Testament 
collected by Ensebius. 

Since it has been confidently affirmed that the silence of Eusebius as 
to the use made by an early Father of a particular book of the New Testa- 
ment is a positive proof that the Father in question was unacquainted with 
it, inasmuch as he ' never fails to enumerate the writers of the New Testa- 

Chap, ii. 

Points still 
for discus- 

^ Some further considerations on which have been obtained are given 
the incompleteness of the results at the end of Chap. iv. 



' merit to which the Fathers refer ^,' it becomes necessary to call the atten- 
tion of students to the general principles on which Eusebius made quota- 
tions of this kind. These he lays down quite plainly on the first occasion 
when he deals with the contents of the Canon. ' In the course of my his- 
' tory,' he says, 'I shall make it my object to indicate together with the 
' successions [of bishops in the great sees] what ecclesiastical writers at 
' the several times have made use of what books from among the contro- 
' verted, and what they have said about the canonical and acknowledged 
' writings, and all (oVa) that they have said about those writings which 
'are not such^' He sets before himself therefore two main objects, (i) to 
notice from his own reading the simple use of the Antilegomena, and (2) to 
collect details recorded by others as to the composition and history of all 
the books which have been used as having Scriptural authority. The 
second object is again subdivided. On the one hand Eusebius proposes 
to bring together special statements about the canonical books ^, and on 
the other to complete the treatment of his first object by a collection of all 
the facts {^aa) which he could gather about the disputed books, seeing that in 
this case there was greater need of evidence with a view to the final deter- 
mination of their character. By natural consequence it follows (i) that 
Eusebius would necessarily pass over, as a general rule, all mere references 
to the acknowledged books (e. g. the Gospel of St John, and the thirteen 
Epistles of St Paul) ; and (2) that if a writer simply made use of an apocry- 
phal Gospel (e. g. the Gospel according to the Hebrews) as well as of canoni- 
cal books (e. g. the four Gospels), he would quote the testimony to the 
apocryphal book and leave the testimony to the canonical books unnoticed*. 
These are the principles which he lays down, and by these he is guided, 
so far as his desultory method allows him to be guided by a consistent plan, 
with one exception more apparent than real. The exception is that he 
notices from time to time the simple use of the acknowledged Catholic 
Epistles (i Peter, i John); for the group of the Catholic Epistles was of 
very uncertain extent, and in this case it might seem worth while to notice 
one or two individual testimonies. 

1 Snpemat. Rel. i. p. 488. Comp. p. 437 : 
The care with which Eusebius searches for 
every trace of the use of the books of the 
New Testament in early writers, and his 
anxiety to produce any evidence concern- 
ing their authenticity, render his silence 
upon the subject almost as important as his 
distinct utterance when speaking of such a 
man as Hegesippus.' p. 438: 'It is cer- 
tain that Eusebius. ..would not have neg- 
lected to have availed himself of the evi- 
dence of Hegesippus... had that writer 
furnished him with any opportunity, and 
there can be no doubt that he exclusively 
made use of the Gospel according to the 
Hebrews together with unwritten tradition.' 

2 Euseb. H. E. in. 3^ (Comp. v. 7), Trpot- 
owoTjs T^s tcTTopia? Trpovp-you iroiijcro/xai avv 
Tats StaSoxais iiTrooTjjiiTjVao'^ai tiV e? twv Kara. 
Xpoyov; fKK\yf(H,a<TTiK(Su <7vyypa.^e<ay OTroiais 
KexprjvTai Toiv dvTi\eyo}xevo}Vy riva. T€ irepi 
TcSi' ev8i.aBriK(xiV (cal oju.oXoyoiiju.eVwi' yjio-^iZv 
Kai Qcra vepl T(av [xrj TOtouraij' avTOis etp>jTa». 
Comp. Part iii. c. i. 

3 This he expresses even more clearly, v. 
8 : ' I promised that I would set forth... the 
'utterances of the ancient ecclesiastical 

' presbyters and writers, in which they have 
' handed down in writing iAa traditions 
' concerning the canonical Scriptures that 
^ have come to thein (rds Trepl Ttav kvhia.' 
' Otjkuiv yoa(f)(au ei? avTOVs /careAOovo-as na- 
' paSotreis).' Nothing can be clearer than 
that he does not propose to collect evi- 
dence of the mere use of the acknowledged 

■» The words in reference to the Pauline 
Epistles, which follow very shortly after 
those which have been quoted, perfectly 
illustrate the design of Eusebius as he ex- 
plains it : 'The Epistles of Paul are obvious 
'and clear, the fourteen. That however cer- 
'tain have rejected that to the Hebrews, 
'affirming that it was controverted (ai^c- 
' Ae'yeaflai) as not being Paul's by the Roman 
'[Latin] Church it is not right to ignore. 
'And as opportunity offers (/card Kaipov) I 
' shall set forth what has been said about this 
' [Epistle] by our predecessors.' The Epistle 
to the Hebrews occupies just the same rela- 
tion to the other Epistles of St Paul as the 
Antilegametia generally to the Ht»m>lo- 
gumena; and Eusebius proposes to collect 
evidence as to that only. 






. ^/>; 


A few illustrations will make the method of Eusebius quite clear, and Chap. ii. 
dispose of the improper deductions which have been made from his silence. 

Clement. Eusebius notices (iii. 38) that there are in the first Epistle 
of Clement verbal coincidences with the Epistle to the Hebrezvs (a disputed 
])Ook) ; but he takes no notice of the reference by name to St Paul's Epistle 
to the Corinthians, and the certain coincidences with St James and Romans. 

Ignatius. He notices (iii. 36) the strange (apocryphal) saying in ad 
Smyrn. iii. ; but passes over the reference to St Paul, ad Ephes. xii. 

PoLYCARP. 'Polycarp,' he writes (iv. 14), *has made use of some te: 
' timonies from the former Epistle of Peter ;' but he passes over the refQrem;^"- 
by name to St Paul's Epistle to the Philippians, and the certain coincilfencfe^^ 
with Galatians, &c. V. 

Justin. He notices (iv. 18) his explicit reference to the Apocalyp^^ 
St John, a controverted book. ^xn'^/ 

Theophilus of Antioch. *He made use,' he says (iv. 24), 'of tes-"*- ^ 
' timonies from the Apocalypse i" but he is silent as to his quotations by name 
(ii. 22) from the Gospel of St John. 

Iren^us. '[Irenoeus] mentions,' so he writes (v. 26), ^ the Epistle to 
' the Hebrezvs and the so-called Wisdom of Solojnon, quoting phrases from 
' them.' And again (v. 8) Eusebius quotes from Irenseus special details of 
the composition of the four Gospels and the Apocalypse, and then adds : 
' He has morever made mention of the Jirst Epistle of John, introducing 
' many testimonies from it, and likewise of the former Epistle of Peter. And 
' he not only knows but receives the writing {ypcKp-fjv) of the Shepherd... zxidi 
' he has used certain phrases from the Wisdom of Solomon...^ But Eusebius 
says nothing of the countless references in Irengeus to all the acknowledged 
books of the New Testament as inspired and authoritative Scripture. 

Clement of Alexandria. Eusebius notices (vi. 13) that Clement 
quoted the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, the Epistle to the Hebrezvs, 
Barnabas, Clement, and Jtide ; but again says nothing of his countless 
references to the acknowledged books of the New Testament. 

Origen. Eusebius quotes Origen's detailed account of the books of 
the Old and New Testament {H. E. vi. 25); but passes over all his cursory 
references to controverted as well as to acknowledged books. 

These examples vfill shew how utterly unjustifiable it is to conclude 
from Eusebius' notices of Papias and Hegesippus that they rejected or did 
not use or were unacquainted with the acknowledged books of the New 
Testament. Supernal. Rel. Ii. 320 fF. The same mode of argument would 
prove that Irenseus (for example) knew nothing of St Paul's Epistles ; and 
if the Cod. Alex, had lost a few more leaves, the silence of Clement of 
Rome (as attested by Eusebius' silence) would have been urged as a manifest 
proof that St Paul never wrote to the Corinthians. 

The fact is that except in the case of the Catholic Epistles Eusebius 
never notices the mere use of any of the acknowledged books. His silence 
under this head shews only that he had not observed in the particular 
writer under examination details of interest concerning them. 

This argument has been urged with overwhelming force by Bp. Lightfoot, 
C. R. 1875. pp. 169 ff. 



yAM totum Chrlsti corpus loqidticr omnium Unguis: 
et quibus nondum loquitur ioquetur. 


IT Is not easy to overrate the difficulties which beset 
any inquiry into the early Versions of the New Tes- 
n:ient. In addition to those which impede all critical 
investigations into the original Greek text, there are 
others in this case scarcely less serious, which arise from 
comparatively scanty materials and vague or conflicting 
traditions. There is little illustrative literature; or, if 
there be more, it \s imperfectly known. There is no 
long line of Fathers to witness to the completion and 
the use of the translations. And though it be true that 
these hindrances are chiefly felt when the attempt is 
made to settle or interpret their text, they are no less 
real and perplexing when we seek only to investigate 
their origin and earliest form. Versions of Scripture 
appear to be in the first instance almost necessarily of 
gradual growth. Ideas of translation familiarized to us 
by long experience formed no part of the primitive 
system. The history of the Septuagint is a memorable 
example of what might be expected to be the history of 
Versions of the New Testament. And so far as there is 
any proof of unity in these which is wanting in that, we 




are led to conclude that the Canon of the New Testa- 
ment was more definitely fixed, that the books of which 
it was composed were more equally esteemed, than was 
the case with the Old Testament at the time when it was 
translated into Greek. 

Two Versions only claim to be noticed in this first 
Period — the original Versions of the East and West — 
the Peshito and Old Latin, which, though variously re- 
vised, remain after sixteen centuries the authorised litur- 
gical versions of the Syrian and Roman churches. At 
present we have only to do with their extent: the peculi- 
arities of text which they offer being considered only as 
one mark of their date. And here some care must be 
taken lest our reasoning form a circle. The Canon which 
the Peshito exhibits has been used to fix the time at 
which it was made ; and yet we shall quote the Peshito 
to help us in determining the Canon. The text of the 
Old Latin depends in many cases on individual quota- 
tions; and yet we shall use it as an independent au- 
thority. Nor is this without reason ; for the age of the 
Peshito is indicated by numerous particulars, and if the 
exact form in which the Canon appears in it accords 
with what we learn from other fragmentary notices of 
the same date, the two lines of evidence mutually sup- 
port and strengthen each other. And so if there be any 
ground for Relieving that the earliest Latin Fathers em- 
ployed some particular Version of the books of the New 
Testament, then we may analyse their quotations, and 
endeavour to determine how many books were included 
in the translation, and how far the whole translation 
bears the marks of one hand. There is nothing of direct 
demonstrative force in the conclusions thus obtained, 
but they form part of a series, and give coherence and 
consistency to it. 

How far 
they can be 
used in in- 
the Canon. 


Chap. iii. 



/ § I. The Peshito^. 

The Peshito^ or 'simple' Syriac, that is Aramaean, 
Version is assigned almost universally to the most re- 
mote Christian antiquity. The Syriac Christians of 
Malabar even now claim for it the right to be considered 
as an Eastern original of the New Testament^; and 
though their tradition is wholly unsupported by external 
evidence, it is not to a certain extent destitute of all 
plausibility. There can be no doubt that the so-called 
Syro-Chaldaic (Aramaean) was the vernacular language 
of the Jews of Palestine in the time of our Lord, how- 
ever much it may have been superseded by Greek in the 
common business of life*. It was in this dialect, the 
' Hebrew' of the New Testament^ that the Gospel of 
St Matthew was originally written, if we believe the 
unanimous testimony of the Fathers; and it is not un- 
natural to look to the Peshito as likely to contain some 
traces of its first form^ The early tradition which was 

^ The chief original authorities 
on the Peshito which I have exam- 
ined are : Ni. Ti. Vtr stones Syriaca. 
Simplex, Philoxenicma, et Hierosoly- 
miiana, denuo exaininatce h J. G. C. 
Abler. Ilafnia, mdcclxxxix. Ho- 
rcB Syriacce, auctore N. Wiseman, 
S.T. D. Tom. Li?^7w^,MDCCCXXViii. 
J. WiCHELHAUS, De N. T. versione 
Syriacd quant Peschitho vacant Libri 
IV. Halis, 1850. 

^ This title seems to be best in- 
terpreted * simple, ' as implying the 
absence of any allegorical interpre- 
tations. Hug, Introd. § LXii. 

^ Etheridge's Syrian Churches^ pp. 
166 ff. 

^ Wiseman, Horce Syriacce, pp. 69 

^ John V. 2; xix. 13, 17, 20; xx. 
16. Acts xxi. 40; xxii. 2; xxvi. 14. 

Cf. Apoc. ix. II ; xvi. 16. The word 
* Hebrew ' is first applied to the 
language of the Old Testament in 
the Apocrypha {Frol. Sir.). In 
Josephus it is used both of the true 
Hebrew, and of the Aramaean. David- 
son, Biblical Criticism, i. 9 ; Ethe- 
ridge, Horce Aramaicce, p. 7. In 
the conclusion to the Book of Job in 
the LXX. ' Syriac ' appears to be 
used for the true Hebrew. Ur 
Roberts' Dissertations on the Gos- 
pels (Ed. 2, London, 1863) contain 
much that is very valuable on the 
language of Palestine in the time of 
our Lord; but his arguments only 
shew that the country was bilingual. 
^ The history of this Syriac Ver- 
sion offers a remarkable parallel to 
that of the Latin, but with this 
difference, that of the Old Syriac one 




current at Alexandria that the Epistle to the Hebrews 
was written in the same Aramaic language sprang, as 
it appears, from the knowledge that it was addressed to 
* Hebrew ' speaking believers. And though little stress 
can be laid on such facts, they serve to shew how inti- 
mately the Peshito was connected with the wants of 
some among the early Christians of Palestine. 

The dialect of the Peshito, even as it stands now, re- 
presents in part at least that form of Aramaic which was 
current in Palestine\ In this respect it is like the Latin 
Vulgate, which, though revised, is marked by the pro- 
vincialisms of Africa. Both versions appear to have had 
their origin in districts where their languages were spoken 
in impure dialects, and afterwards to have been cor- 
rected, and brought nearer to the classical standard. In 
the absence of an adequate supply of critical materials it 
is impossible to construct the history of these recensions 
in the Syriac ; the analogy of the Latin is at present our 
only guide. But if a conjecture may be allowed, I think 
that the various facts of the case are adequately ex- 
plained by supposing that Versions of separate books of 
the New Testament were first made and used in Pales- 
tine, perhaps within the Apostolic age, and that shortly 


The Peshito 
with the Ve- 
tus Latina. 

A conjecture 
as to its 

very imperfect copy only, the Cure- 
tonian Version of the Gospels, has 
been preserved., But this is suffi- 
cient to shew that the Old Syriac 
was related very nearly to the later 
revision of the Peshito, as the Old 
Latin was to the Hieronymian Latin. 
The materials are not perhaps yet suffi- 
ciently extensive or trustworthy to fur- 
nish a complete decision as to the re- 
lationin which the Old Syriac St Mat- 
thew stood to the original ' Hebrew ' 
Gospel (compare Introduction to the 
Study of Gospels, ch. IV. i. i.). Dr 
Cureton has pointed out some facts 
bearing upon the question in his Intro- 

duction; but in the main it was cer- 
tainly translated from the Greek. 

^ Gregory Bar Hebrseus says that 
there were three dialects of Syriac 
(Aramaean) : the most elegant was 
that of Edessa : the most impui-e 
that current among the inhabitants 
of Palestine and Libanus. The Pe- 
shito was written in the latter (Wise- 
man, /. c. p. io6), which seems to have 
been specially marked by the occur- 
rence of Greek words. The occur- 
rence of Latin words in the Peshito 
may be illustrated by examples from 
Syrian writers (Wiseman, /. c. p. 119, 




afterwards these were collected, revised, and completed 
at Edessa\ 

Many circumstances combine to give support to this 
belief. The early condition of the Syrian Church, its 
wide extent and active vigour, lead us to expect that a 
Version of the Holy Scriptures into the common dialect 
could not have been long deferred ; and the existence of 
an Aramaic Gospel was in itself likely to suggest the 
work ^ Differences of style, no less than the very nature 
of the case, point to separate translations of different 
books ; and at the same time a certain general uni- 
formity of character bespeaks some subsequent revi- 
sion I I have ventured to specify the place at which 
I believe that this revision was made\ Whatever may 
be thought of the alleged intercourse of 'Abgarus with 
our Lord, Edessa itself is signalized in early church- 
history by many remarkable facts. It was called the 

^ In the present section when 
speaking of the Peshito I mean the 
translation of the New Testament, 
unless it be otherwise expressed. 
At the same time it may be remark- 
ed that the Old Testament Peshito 
is probably the work of a Christian, 
and of the same date. Cf. Davidson, 
Biblical Criticism, i. p. 247 ; Wichel- 
haus, p. 73. 

It is clear from the consideration 
of readings (^,^. John v. -27 f.) that 
the text of the Peshito underwent a 
decisive revision in the 4th century 
by comparison with the Antiochene 
Greek copies. 

^ The activity of thought in West- 
ern Syria at an early period is most 
remarkable. It was not only the 
source of ecclesiastical order, but 
also of Apocryphal books. As a 
compensation for the latter it pro- 
duced the first Christian Commen- 
taries, those of Theophilus and Se- 
rapion. Cf. Wichelhaus, p. 55. 

3 Hug, Introduction, § d^; Ethe- 
ridge, Horce Aramaicce, p. 52. It is 
but fair to say that the Syrians 
attributed the work to one trans- 

The Gospels are probably the ear- 
liest as they are the closest transla- 

The Acts are more loosely trans- 
lated (Wichelhaus, p. 86) ; but it is 
to be remembered that the text of 
the Acts presents more variations than 
any part of the New Testament. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is 
probably the work of a separate 
translator. (Wichelhaus, pp. 86 ff.) 

^ That it was made at some place 
out of the Roman Empire is shewn 
in the translation of arpaTLurai by 
Romans in Acts xxiii. 23, 31. [Cf. 
Acts xxviii. 15: Appiz^j For?^^.] 
But this is not the case in the Gos- 
pels, which, as I have conjectured, 
were translated earlier, and in Pales- 
tine. Cf. Wichelhaus, pp. 78 ff. 




'Holy' and the 'Blessed' city^: its inhabitants were 
said to have been brought over by Thaddeus in a mar- 
vellous manner to the Christian Faith; and * from that 
' time forth,' Eusebius adds^, ' the whole people of Edessa 
' has continued to be devoted to the name of Christ 
* (t]7 tov ^pLCTTou irpoaavaKeLTai TrpoarjyopLajj exhibiting 
' no ordinary instance of the goodness of our Saviour.' 
In the second century it became the centre of an impor- 
tant Christian school ; and long afterwards retained its 
pre-eminence among the cities of its province. 

As might be expected tradition fixes on Edessa as 
the place whence the Peshito took its rise. Gregory Bar 
Hebraeus^, one of the most learned and accurate of Sy- 
rian writers, relates that the New Testament Peshito was 
' made in the time of Thaddeus and Abgarus King of 
' Edessa,' when, according to the universal opinion of an- 
cient writers, the Apostle went to proclaim Christianity 
in Mesopotamia. This statement he repeats several 
times, and once on the authority of Jacob a deacon of 
Edessa in the fifth century. He tells us nioreover that 
' messengers were sent from Edessa to Palestine to trans- 
' late the Sacred Books ;' and though this statement re- 
fers especially to the Old Testament, it confirms what 
has been said of the Palestinian authorship of the Ver- 

Chap. iii. 

•^ Hoj'a Syriacce, p. loi. 

'^ Euseb. H:E. II. I. 

^ The following testimonies from 
Gregory — inter suos ferme KpniKilira- 
Tos — are given by Wiseman : Quod 
vero spectat ad banc Syriacam [Ver- 
sionem V, Ti.] tresfueruntsententige; 
prima quod tempore Salomonis et Hi- 
ram Regum conversa fuerit ; secunda 
quod Asa sacerdos, quum ab Assyria 
missus fuit Samariam, eum transtule- 
rit ; tertia tandem quod diebus Adai 
Apostoli et Abgari Regis Osrhoeni 
versa fuerit, quando etiam Novum 

Testamentum eadem simplici forma 
traductum est. p. 90. Cf. Adler, p. 42. 

Occidentales [Syri] duas habent 
versiones, Simplicem, quae ex Hebra- 
ico in Syriacum translata est post ad- 
ventum Domini Christi tempore Ad(Ei 
Apostoli, vel ut alii dicunt tempore 
Salomonis filii Davidis et Hira77i^ et 
Figuratam...p. 94. 

Jacobus Edessenus dicit interpretes 
illos qui missi sunt ab Adai Apostolo 
et Abgaro Rege Osrhoeno in Palaesti- 
nam, quique verterunt Libros Sacros 
...p. 103. 

Syrian tra- 
ditions as to 
the origin of 
the Peshito. 

Gregory Bar 

Jacob of 




sion. And it is worthy of notice that Gregory assumes 
the Apostolic origin of the New Testament Peshito as 
certain ; for while he gives three hypotheses as to the 
date of the Old Testament Version he speaks of this as 
a known and acknowledged fact. 

No other direct historical evidence remains to deter- 
mine the date of the Peshito; and it is impossible to 
supply the deficiency by the help of quotations occur- 
ring in early Syriac writers. The only Syriac work of 
a very early date which has been as yet discovered is 
[Bardesanes'] Dialogue On Fate (or The Book of the Laws 
of Countries), of which Eusebius has preserved a con- 
siderable fragment in Greek\ This contains no express 
quotation from Scripture, and the adaptation of Scrip- 
tural language in the course of the argument is so free 
that no conclusion can be drawn from the few coinci- 
dences which may be pointed out as to the existence of 
a Syriac Version in the time of the writer. On the other 
hand the general character of the work is -such as not 
to admit of definite citations of Scripture, and thus the 
absence of explicit references to the books of th3 New 
Testament does not prove that they did not then exist 
in Syriac. Moreover it is known that books were soon 
translated from Syriac into Greek, and while such an 
intercourse existed it is scarcely possible to believe that 
the Scriptures themselves remained untranslated. The 
same conclusion follows from the controversial writings 
of Bardesanes, which necessarily imply the existence of 
a Syriac Version of the Biblel Tertullian's example 

1 The Syriac text with a transla- pnmum discipulus...vir erat littera- 

tion is given by Dr Cureton, in his rum gnarus, qui etiam ad Antoninum 

Spicilegium Syriacum, London, 1855. epistolam scribere ausus est, niuUos- 

The Greek fragment occurs in Euseb. que sermones contra Marcionitas at- 

Prcep. Ev. vi. 10. On The Doctrine que simulacrorum cultum composuit 

of Addai see note, p. 247 

2 Bardesanes — Valentinianae sectce 

(Moses Choren. ap. Wichelhaus, p. 
57). Cf. Euseb. H. E. iv. 30. 




may shew that he could hardly have refuted Marcion 
without the constant use of Scripture. And more than 
this, Eusebius tells us that Hegesippus ' made quota- 
'tions from the Gospel according to the Hebrews and 
* the Syriac and especially from [writings in ?] the Hebrew 
' language, shewing thereby that he was a Christian of 
' Hebrew descentV This testimony is valuable as coming 
from the only early Greek writer likely to have been 
familiar with Syriac literature; and may we not see 
in the two Gospels thus mentioned two recensions of 
St Matthew — the one disfigured by Apocryphal tra- 
ditions, and the other written in the dialect of Eastern 

Ephraem Syrus, himself a deacon of Edessa, treats 
the Version in such a manner as to prove that it was 
already old in the fourth century. He quotes it as a 
book of established authority, calling it ' Our Version:' 
he speaks of the ' Translator ' as one whose w^ords were 
familiar^; and though the dialects of the East are pro- 
verbially permanent, his explanations shew that its lan- 
guage even in his time had become partially obsolete ^ 

^ Euseb. Zr. jS". IV. 22: ^K Te Tov the Peshito it is worthy of remark that 

KuO' 'E^palovs evayyeXiov Kal tov Su- Episcopus is preserved in one place 

piaKov Kal Idiwi e/c rrjs 'E/3/3ai5os 8ia- only, Acts xx. iS. Elsewhere it is 

\iKTov TLvcL Tid7]<nv, €fx<paip(ji}v i^ 'E- kashisho (presbyter), except in i Pet. 

^paXwv kavrhv ireTriaTevK^i^ai (quoted ii. 25. The name of deacon is no- 

by Hug). where retained. Wichelhaus, p. 89. 

2 Horce Syriacff, pp. 116, 117. The text of the Curetonian Gospels 

^ It does not seem that the differ- is in itself a sufficient proof of the ex- 

ence of the Edessene and Palestinian treme antiquity of the Syriac Version, 

dialects alone can account for the ob- This, as has been already remarked, 

scurities which Ephraem seeks to re- offers a striking resemblance to that 

move. The instances quoted by Dr of the Old Latin, and cannot be later 

"Wiseman are in accordance with his than the middle or close of the se- 

plan taken from the Old Testament ; cond century. It would be difficult 

but in the absence of all indications to point out a more interesting sub- 

of the contrary it seems fair to sup- ject for criticism than the respective 

pose that his remarks apply equally relations of the Old Latin and Syriac 

to the New Testament. Cf. Wichel- Versions to the Latin and Syriac Vul- 

haus, p. 2 1. gates. But at present it is almost un- 

In reference to the phraseology of touched. 

Chap. iii. 








Another circumstance serves to exhibit the venerable 
age of this Version. It was universally received by the 
different sects into which the Syrian Church was divided 
in the fourth century, and so has continued current even 
to the present time. All the Syrian Christians^, whether 
belonging to the Nestorian, Jacobite, or Roman commu- 
nion, conspire to hold the Peshito authoritative, and to 
use it in their public services. It must consequently 
have been established by familiar use before the first 
heresies arose, or it could not have remained without 
a rival. Numerous versions or revisions of the New 
Testament were indeed made afterwards, for Syriac 
literature is peculiarly rich in this branch of theological 
criticism ; but no one ever supplanted the Peshito for 
ecclesiastical purposes' 

Like the Latin Vulgate in the 

^ HorfE Syriacce, p. io8. 

2 Dr Wiseman enumerates twelve 
Versions of the Old Testament. The 
most important for the criticism of the 
New Testament are the Philoxenian, 
the Harclean, and the Palestinian. 

The Philoxenian derives its name 
from a bishop of Mabug or Hierapo- 
lis in Syria (a.d. 485 — 518), in whose 
time it was made by one Polycarp for 
the use of the Monophysites. Of this 
Version only fragments remain ; and 
it is uncertain whether it included 
all the books of the New Testament. 
Adier, p. 48. Wiseman, p. 178, n. 
Adler supposes that an early Medi- 
ceo-Florentine Manuscript (a.d. 757) 
of the Gospels exhibits this recension, 
but he adds that it differs little from 
the Harclean. pp. 53 — 55. 

Thomas Harclensis, poor Thomas 
?s he calls himself, a monk of Alex- 
andria in 616 A.D., revised the Phi- 
loxenian translation by the help of 
some Greek Manuscrip.s, and seems 
to have attempted for the Syriac Ver- 
sion what Origen accomplished for the 
Septuagint. The Oxford Manuscript 
of this Translation contains the seven 

catholic Epistles, but omits the Apo- 
calypse. Adler, pp. 49 sq. Comp. 
G. H. Bernstein, De Charklensi Ni. 
Ti. Translatione Syriaca Commenia- 
Ho, Vratisl. 1837. 

The Palestinian Version exists in an 
Evangelistarium of proper lessons for 
the Sundays and Festivals of the year. 
It is remarkable that the pericope, 
Johnvii. 53 — viii. 11, which is want- 
ing in the other Syriac versions, is 
contained in this in a form which 
agrees with the text of Cod. D. The 
dialect in which it is written is very 
similar to that of the Jerusalem Tal- 
mud : and thus Adler, who first accu- 
rately examined it, gave it the name 
of the Jerusalem Version. Adler, 
pp. 140 — 145; 190, 191; 198 — 202. 
[This Version has been edited with a 
Latin translation by Con. F. Minis- 
calchi Erizzo, 1861 — 4.] 

In addition to these Versions there 
is the Karkaphensian recension of the 
Peshito made by an uncertain Jacob- 
ite author (Wiseman, p. 212), chiefly 
remarkable for the singular order in 
which the books are arranged. The 
New Testament Canon is the same 




Western Church, the Peshito became in the East the 
fixed and unalterable Rule of Scripture. 

The respect in which the Peshito was held was fur- 
ther shewn by the fact that it was taken as the basis of 
other Versions in the East. An Arabic and a Persian 
Version were made from it ; but it is more important to 
notice that at the beginning of the fifth century (before 
the Council of Ephesus A.D. 431) an Armenian Version 
was commenced from the Syriac in the absence of Greek 

These indications of the antiquity of the Peshito do 
not indeed possess any conclusive authority, but they 
all tend in the same direction, and there is nothing on 
the other side to reverse or modify them. It is not im- 
probable that fresh discoveries may throw a clearer light 
on early Syriac literature ; and that more copious critical 
resources may serve to determine the date of the Peshito 
on philological grounds. But meanwhile there is no suf- 
ficient reason to desert the opinion which has obtained 
the sanction of the most competent scholars, that its 
formation is to be fixed within the first half of the 
second century. The text, even in its present revised 
form, exhibits remarkable agreement with the most 
ancient Greek Manuscripts and the earliest quotations. 
The very obscurity which hangs over its origin is a proof 
of its venerable age, because it shews that it grew up 
spontaneously among Christian congregations, and was 
not the result of any public labour. Had it been a v/ork 
of late date, of the third or fourth century, it is scarcely 

as that of the original Peshito, but come last (Wiseman, p. 217). This 
the Acts and three Catholic epistles recension has been accurately exam- 
stand first as one book; the fourteen ined by Dr Wiseman, //. cc. 
Epistles of St Paul follow next ; and ^ See Dr Tregelles, in the Diction- 
the four Gospels in the usual order ary of the Bible ^ s. v. Versions. 

R 2 




possible that its history should have been so uncertain 
as it is\ 

The Version exists at present in two distinct classes 
of Manuscripts^ Some are written in the ancient Syrian 
letters, and others of Indian origin in the Nestorian cha- 
racter. The latter are comparatively of recent date, but 
remarkable for the variations from the common text 
which they exhibit. Still though these two families of 
Manuscripts represent different recensions they coincide 
as far as the Canon is concerned. Both omit the second 
and third Epistles of St John, the second Epistle of St 
Peter, the Epistle of St Jude, and the Apocalypse, but 
include all the other books as commonly received with- 
out any addition. This Canon seems to have been 
generally maintained in the Syrian Churches, and in 
those which depended on their authority^. It is repro- 
duced in the Arabic Version of Erpenius, which was 
taken from the Peshito* : Cosmas, an Egyptian traveller 

1 J. B. Branca (i 781), from a desire 
to raise the Vulgate above all rivalry, 
endeavoured to prove that the Peshito 
was made as late as the fourth century. 
Dr Wiseman has fully refuted him, 
pp. no sqq. 

2 Adler, p. 3. 

3 Ephraem Syrus however, if we 
may trust his Greek works, admitted 
the seven Catholic Epistles and the 
Apocalypse: but in this he repre- 
sents the Greek rather than the Sy- 
rian Church. Compare Part iii. 
Chap. II. There is no trace of their 
reception by the Syrian Churches, or 
of their admission into Manuscripts 
of the Peshito till a very late date. 

The Syriac Manuscripts in the 
British Museum offer a very instruc- 
tive history of the Syrian Canon of 
the N. T. The earliest dated N. T. 
(Rich, 7157), A.D. 768, contains four 
Gospels, Acts, James, i Peter, i John, 
13 Epistles of St Paul, Epistle to 

the Hebrews. An earlier copy of the 
(5th or) 6th century gives the same 
books in a different order. Gospels, 
Epistles of St Paul, Acts, James, 
I Peter, i John (Add. 14,470). The 
earliest Manuscript in which the dis- 
puted Epistles occur is dated A.D. 823 
(Add. i4,6'23). In another Manu- 
script (Add. 14,473) the then gene- 
rally received Epistles were written 
in the sixth century, and the remain- 
ing four were added in the eleventh 
or twelfth. The Apocalypse (with 
a Commentary) is found in a Manu- 
script dated 1088. For these parti- 
culars I am indebted to the kindness 
of Dr W. Wright [now Professor of 
Arabic at Cambridge] of the British 

^ Actus app. et epistulas Pauli, 
item lacobi epistulam, priorem Petri 
et primam lohannis, quemadmodum 
in ed. Erpeniana leguntur, e Syra 
Peschito fluxisse certum est. Reli- 




of the sixth century, states that only three Catholic 
Epistles were received by the Syrians \ Junilius men- 
tions two Catholic Epistles as undoubted — I John, 
I Peter — while the remaining five were received ' by very 
'manyV Dionysius Bar Salibi^ in the twelfth century 
alludes to the absence of the second Epistle of St Peter 
from the ancient Syrian Version; Ebed-jesu* in the 
fourteenth century repeats the Canon of the Peshito ; 
and the mutilation of the New Testament by the omis- 
sion of the disputed books was one of the charges 
brought against the Christians of St Thomas at the 
Synod of Diamper^ 

Such then is the Canon of the Syrian Churches ^ Its 
general agreement with our own is striking and import- 
ant ; and its omissions admit of easy explanation. The 
purely historic evidence for the second Epistle of St 
Peter must always appear inconclusive ; for it does not 
seem to have been generally known before the end of 
the third century. The Apocalypse again rests chiefly 
on the authority of the Western Churches ; and it is not 
surprising that the two shorter and private letters of 
St John should have been at first unknown in Mesopo- 
tamia. The omission of the Epistle of St Jude is per- 
haps more remarkable, when it is remembered that it 
was written in Palestine, and appears to be necessarily 
connected with that of St James. But these points will 

quos libros ibidem exhibitos, i.e. apo- ^ Adler, p. 35. 

calypsin cum quattuor reliquis epp. ^ The order of the Books is the 

cath. unde interpres hauserit, non same as that in the best Greek Manu- 

satis constat, sed videntur originem scripts: The four Gospels — the Acts 

Coptam habuisse. Tischendorf, Pro- —the Catholic Epistles — the Epistles 

leg. N. T. ed. 7, p. ccxxxvii. of St Paul. In the Karkaphensian 

1 Credner, Zur. Gesch. d, Kanons, recension, as we have seen, the order 
p. I05,n. See below, Part III. Chap, is in part inverted; and Jacob of 
II. Edessa follows the same arrange- 

2 App. D. No. IV. Credner, /. c. ment, placing the Gospels last. 

3 Hug, § 64. Wichelhaus, p. 84. 

4 App. D. No. VI. 




Chap. iii. 

come under examination in another place. Meanwhile 
it is necessary to insist on the absence of all uncanonical 
books from this earliest Version. Many writings we 
know were current in the East under Apostolic titles, 
but no one received the sanction of the Church ; and 
this fact alone is sufficient to shew that the Canon was 
not fixed without direct knowledge or careful criticism. 

There is still another aspect in which the Peshito 
claims our notice. Proceeding from a Church which in 
character and language seems to represent most truly 
the Palestinian element of the Apostolic age, it witnesses 
to something more than the authenticity of the New 
Testament Scriptures. It is in fact the earliest monu- 
ment of Catholic Christianity. Here for the first time 
we see the different forms of Apostolic teaching which 
still served as the watchwords of heresy recognised by 
the East as constituent parts of a common faith. The 
closing words of St Peter had witnessed to the same 
truth ; and though the Syrian Churches refused to 
acknowledge the testimony, they confirmed its substance 
in this collection of their sacred books. The contest 
between the Jewish and Gentile Churches had passed 
away. The ' enemy ' and * deceiver,' as St Paul was still 
called by the Ebionites, is acknowledged in this first 
Christian Bible to have independent power and authority 
as an Apostle of Christ. Henceforth the great Father 
of the Western Church stands side by side with St 
James, St Peter, and St John, the Pillars of the Church 
of Jerusalem*. 

1 The Ancient Syriac Documents edited by Dr Cureton and Dr W. Wright 
(London, 1864) do not throw any new light upon the Syrian Canon. The 
writings themselves cannot maintain the claim to Apostolic antiquity which 
has been set up for some of them. In their present form they contain 
numerous anonymous references to the substance of the Gospels, includ- 
ing St John (xiv. 26, pp. 25, 36), and to the Epistle to the Romans (i. 25, 
p. 37; viii. 35, p. 54; id. i8, p. 81); and perhaps to Apoc. xx. 12 (p. 9: 




this is very doubtful). The strange passage (p. 56) : * One of the Doctors 
' of the Church hath said : The scars indeed of my body — that I may come 
' to the resurrection from the dead : ' appears to be derived from Gal. vi. 1 7 j 
Phil. iii. II. 

Some Evangelic passages are given in what may be a traditional form. 
Thus we read (p. 20) that the Lord said : * Accept not anything from any 
'man, and possess not anything in this world' (cf. Matt. x. 7 — 10). And 
the account of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (p. 25) is full of interest when 
compared with Acts ii. 

One passage (p. 10) appears to preserve the addition in Luke xxiii. 48 
which is found in Syr. Curet. and some Latin copies. It may be observed 
also that a reference is found (p. 8) to the famous saying ' Prove yourselves 
' tried money-changers, ' on which Dr Cureton quotes from Lagarde's Didasc. 
Apost. (p. 42) : ' Be expert discerners (money-changers). It is requisite 
' therefore that a bishop like a trier of silver should be a discerner of the 
' bad and the good.' 

Among the ordinances attributed to the Apostles is one which probably 
formed the basis of the corresponding passages in the Apostolic Canons and 
Constitutions : ' Except the Old Testament and the Prophets and the Gos- 
*pel and the Acts of their own [the Apostles] triumph let not anything 
*be read in the pulpit of the Church' (p. 27. Comp. p. 15). 

But this ordinance is afterwards modified by a remarkable paragraph 
in which a general review is given of the writings of the Apostles with 
the exception of St Paul (p. 32) : 'They again (the immediate successors 
' of the Apostles) at their deaths committed and delivered to their disciples 
' after them everything which they had received from the Apostles : also 
' what James had written from Jerusalem, and Simon from the city of 
' Rome, and John from Ephesus, and Mark from Macedonia, and Judas 

* Thomas from India; that the Epistles of an Apostle might be received 
' and read in the Churches in every place, as those Triumphs of their Acts 

* which Luke wrote are read, that by this the Apostles might be known 
' and the Prophets and the Old Testament and the New : that one truth 
' was preached by them all, that one Spirit spake in them all from one 
' God, whom they had all worshipped and had all preached.' The omission 
of St Paul is made the more remarkable by the fact that in the distribution 
of the various countries among the Apostles no land is assigned to St Paul 
(Rome, Spain, and Britain, are given to St Peter), though he is afterwards 
mentioned casually in the same paragraph (p. 35). 

The Doctrine of Addai, which has been published in a complete form by 
Dr Pliillips (London, 1876) gives some further parallels with the N. T.: 
e.g. p. 4, John XX. 29; p. 79, John xvii. 4 f. ; p. 41, Matt, xviii. 10. 

The direction as to the reading of Sacred writings in the Church appears 
in a somewhat different and fuller form : * But the Law and the Prophets 
' and the Gospel, which ye read every day before the people, and the 
' Epistles of Paul, which Simon Peter sent us from the city of Rome, and 

* the Acts of the twelve Apostles, which John the son of Zebedee sent 

* us from Ephesus, these books read ye in the Church of God, and with 

* these read not others ' p. 44. 

The reference to Tatian's Diatessaron which Dr Cureton detected by 
conjecture (p. 15) is now established beyond doubt (Phillips, p. 34 n.). 

Chap. iii. 




§ 2. The Old Latm Version^. 

At first it seems natural to look to Italy as the centre 
of the Latin literature of Christianity, and the original 
source of that Latin Version of the Holy Scriptures 
which in a later form has become identified with the 
Church of Rome. Yet however plausible such a belief 
may be, it finds no support in history. Rome itself un- 
der the emperors was well described as a * Greek city ; ' 
and Greek was its second language ^ As far as we can 
learn, the mass of the poorer population — to which the 
great bulk of the early Christians everywhere belonged 
— was Greek either in descent or in speech. Among the 
names of the fifteen bishops of Rome up to the close of 
the second century, four only are Latin'; though in the 
next century the proportion is nearly reversed. When 
St Paul wrote to the Roman Church he wrote in Greek ; 
and in the long list of salutations to its members with 
which the epistle is concluded only four genuine Latin 
names occur. Shortly afterwards Clement wrote to the 
Corinthians in Greek in the name of the Church of 
Rome ; and at a later date we find the Bishop of Corinth 
writing in Greek to Soter the ninth in succession from 
Clement. Justin, Hermas, and according to the com- 
mon opinion Tatian*, published their Greek treatises at 

^ The best original investigation 
into the Old Latin Version is Wise- 
man's Remarks on some parts of the 
controversy concerning i John v. 7, 
originally printed in the Catholic 
Magazine, ii., iii., 1832,- f., and re- 
published at Rome, 1835. 

Lachmann has produced his argu- 
ments with some new illustrations : 
Nov. Test. I. p. IX. ff. Comp. Dic- 
tionary of Bible, s. V. Vulgate: and 
especially Ziegler, Die Lot. Bibel- 

iibersetzungen vor Hieronymiis^ Miin- 
chen, 1879. 

2 Cf. Wiseman, ill. pp. 366 f. 
Bunsen's Hippolytus ii. 123 sqq. 

^ Bunsen I.e. says 'two, Clement 
and Victor:' but probably Sixtus 
(Xystus, Euseb. H. E. iv. 4 ; cf. vn. 
5) and certainly Pius should be in- 
cluded in the number. 

•* Otto, Proleg. p. XXXV. Lumper, 
Hist. Patrum^ n. p. 321. 




Rome. The Apologies to the Roman emperors were in 
Greek. Modestus, Caius, and Asterius Urbanus, bear 
Latin names, and yet their writings were Greek. Even 
further west Greek was the common language of Chris- 
tians. The churches of Vienne and Lyons used it in 
writing the history of their persecutions ; and Irenaeus, 
though ' he lived among the Gauls/ and confessed that 
he had grown unfamiliar with his native idiom, made it 
the vehicle of his Treatise against Heresies \ The first 
sermons which were preached at Rome were in Greek ; 
and to the present time the services of the Church of 
Rome bear clear traces that Greek was at first the 
language of its Liturgy. 

Meanwhile however, though Greek continued to be 
the natural, if not the sole language of the Roman 
Church^, the seeds of Latin Christianity were rapidly 
developing in Africa. Nothing is known in detail of the 
origin of the African churches. The Donatists classed 
them among ' those last which should be first ; ' and Au- 
gustine in his reply merely affirms that ' some barbarian 
* nations embraced Christianity after Africa ; so that it is 
' certain that Africa was not the last to believe I' The 
concession implies that Africa was converted late, and 
after the Apostolic times : Tertullian adds that it re- 

1 c. Hcer. i. Pref. 3 : ovk em^r}' 
TTJjeis 5^ Trap rj/xQv tCov kv KeXrois 
diaTpL^6uTU)j' kal ire pi ^dp^apov 8id- 
XeKTov rb irXeiarov dcrxoXovfi^vwv... 

2 Jerome speaks of Tertullian as 
the first Latin writer after Victor and 
ApoUonius. Victor was an African 
by birth, and yet he appears to have 
used Greek in the Paschal contro- 
versy. Polycrates at least addressed 
him in Greek: Euseb. If. E. v. 24. 
It is disputed whether ApoUonius' 
defence was in Greek or in Latin. 
If it were in Latin, as seems likely, 
the place of its delivery— the Senate 

—sufficiently explains the fact. Cf. 
Lumper, iv. 3. 

•* August.^. Donat. Epist. \de Unit. 
Eccles. ] c. 37 : De nobis inquiunt 
[Donatistae] dictum est Erunt primi 
qui erant novissimi. Ad Africam 
enim Evangelium postmodum venit; 
et ideo nusquam litterarum apostoli- 
carum scriptum est Africam credi- 
disse... Augustine answers:... non- 
nullae barbarse nationes etiam post 
Africam crediderunt ; unde certum sit 
Africam in ordine credendi non esse 




ceived the Gospel from Rome. But the rapidity of the 
spread of Christianity in Africa compensated for the late- 
ness of its introduction. At the close of the second 
century Christians were found in every place and of 
every rank. They who were but of yesterday, Tertul- 
lian says^ already fill the Palace, the Senate, the Forum, 
and the Camp, and leave to the heathen their Temples 
only. To persecute the Christians was even then to 
decimate Carthage^ These fresh conquests of the Ro- 
man Church preserved their distinct nationality by the 
retention of .their proper language. Carthage, the 
second Rome, escaped the Graecism of the first. In 
Africa Greek was no longer a current dialect. A pecu- 
liar form of Latin, vigorous, elastic, and copious, how- 
ever far removed from the grace and elegance of a 
classical standard, fitly expressed the spirit of Tertul- 
lian. But though we speak of Tertullian as the first 
Latin Father, it must be noticed that he speaks of Latin 
as the language of his Church, and that his writings 
abound with Latin quotations of Scripture. He in- 
herited an ecclesiastical dialect, if not an ecclesiastical 
literature. It is then to Africa that we must look for 
the first traces of the Latin 'Peshito,' the 'simple' Ver- 
sion of the West. And here a new difficulty arises. The 
Syrian Peshito has been preserved without any break in 
the succession in the keeping of the churches for whose 
use it was made. But no image of their former life, 
however faint, lingers at Carthage or Hippo. No church 
of Northern Africa, however corrupt, remains to testify 
to its ancient Bible. The Version was revised by a 
foreign scholar, and adopted by a foreign church, until 
at last its independent existence in its original form has 

Apol. I. 37. C. 200 A.D. 

Ad Scap. c. 5. 




been questioned and even denied. Before any attempt 
is made to fix the date of its formation and the ex- 
tent of its Canon, it will be necessary to shew that we 
are dealing with a reality, and not with a mere creation 
of a critic's fancy. 

The language of Tertullian if candidly examined is 
conclusive on the point. A few quotations will prove 
that he distinctly recognised a current Latin Version, 
marked by a peculiar character, and in some cases un- 
satisfactory to one conversant with the original text. 

* Reason/ he says, 'is called by the Greeks Logos, a 
'word equivalent to Sermo in Latin. And so it is al- 
' ready customary for our countrymen to say, through a 
' rude and simple translation (per simplicitatem interpre- 
' tationis), that the Word of Revelation {sermo) was in 
' the beginning with God, while it is more correct to 
'regard the rational Word {ratio) as antecedent to this, 
' because God in the beginning was not manifested in 
' intercourse with man [sermonalis), but existed in self- 
' contemplation {rationalisY! From this it appears that 
the Latin translation of St John's Gospel was already so 
generally circulated as to mould the popular dialect ; 
and invested with sufficient authority to support a ren- 
dering capable of improvement. If there had been many 

1 Adv. Prax. c. 5 : [Rationem] 
Graeci \b'^ov dicunt, quo vocabulo 
etiam Sermonem appellamus. Ideo- 
que jam in usu est nostrortrm per 
simplicitatem interpretationis Sermo- 
nem dicere in primordio apud Deum 
fuisse, cum magis Rationem competat 
antiquiorem haberi : quia non sermo- 
nalis a principio, sed rationalis Deus 
etiam ante principium, et quia ipse 
quoque Sermo ratione consistens pri- 
orem earn ut substantiam suam os- 
tendat; tamen et sic nihil interest. 
It will be noticed that Tertullian uses 

the word principium (so Vulg.) and 
not primordium. He quotes the pas- 
sage with that reading, so adv. Her- 
mog. 20; adv. Prax. 13, 21. This 
is another mark of the independence 
of the current translation. The ren- 
dering of Xo'yos by sermo occurs in 
Cyprian, Testim. ii. 3; but I am not 
aware that it is found in any existing 
Manuscript. It certainly does not 
occur in any of the typical represen- 
tatives of the different classes of the 
Old Latin. 




rival translations in use, it is scarcely probable that they 
would all have exhibited the same 'rudeness of style;' 
or that a writer like TertuUian would have apologized 
for an inaccuracy found in some one of them. 

Again, when arguing to prove that a second marriage 
is only allowed to a woman who had lost her first hus- 
band before her conversion to the Christian faith, inas- 
much as this second husband is indeed her first, he adds 
in reference to the passage of St Paul which he has 
quoted before: 'We must know that the phrase in the 
'original Greek is not the same as that which has 
' gained currency [among us] through a clever or simple 
' perversion of two syllables : If however her husbaitd shall 
'fall asleep, as if it were said of the future...^' The con- 
nexion of this passage with the last is evident. An am- 
biguous translation had passed into common use, and 
must therefore have been supported by some recognised 
claim. That this was grounded on the general reception 
of the version in which it was found is implied in the 
language of TertuUian. The 'simple rendering' and the 
'simple perversion' naturally refer to some literal Latin 
translation already circulated in Africa. 

It is then a fact beyond doubt that a Latin transla- 
tion of some of the books of the New Testament was 

1 De Monog. c. 1 1 : Sciamus plane 
non sic esse in Grseco authentico, 
quomodo in usum exiit per duarum 
syllabarum aut callidam aut simpli- 
cem eversionem: si autem dormierit 
vir ejus, quasi de futuro sonet... The 
general meaning of TertuUian is clear, 
but it is difficult to see the force of 
his argument as applied to dormierit: 
that tense is commonly used to trans- 
late lav with the aor. (yet comp. 
Tert. II. 393, edamusy with Vulg. 
manducaverimus) . In an earlier part 
of the chapter he quotes: si atite7?i 

mortuus ftierit. For Koifi7)6y A, al. 
read diroUdpri. Is it possible that the 
reading of F G {KeKot/xTjOri) is a con- 
fusion of K0LfJir]6y and KeKoifirjTai (cf. 
edv otdafjiev i John v, 15, d^c), and 
that TertuUian read the latter? If 
so, the ' eversio duarum syllabarum * 
{dormiit., dormierit) would be intelli- 
gible; otherwise we must I think 
read dormict. The only variation 
which occurs in the Manuscripts is 
dormitionem acceperit. No authority 
which I have seen gives dormiit. 




current in Africa in Tertullian's time, and sufficiently 
authorized by popular use to form the theological dialect 
of the country. It appears from another passage that 
this translation embraced a collection of the Christian 
Scriptures. *We lay down/ he says, 'in the first place 
' that the Evangelical Instrument — [the collection of the 
' authoritative documents of the Gospel] — rests on Apo- 
'stolic authority \' The very name by which the collec- 
tion was called witnessed to the ' simplicity' of the ver- 
sion. 'Marcion,' Tertullian writes just before, 'supposed 
' that different gods were the authors of the two Instrii- 
' ments, or, as it is usual to speak, of the two Testaments'^.' 
The word Testament (^LaOrjKrj) would naturally find a 
place in a 'simple' version ; otherwise it is not easy to 
see how it could have supplanted the more usual term^ 

Thus far then the evidence of Tertullian decidedly 
favours the belief that one Latin Version of the Holy 
Scriptures was popularly used in Africa. It has however 
been argued, from the language which Augustine uses 
about two centuries later with reference to the origin and 
multiplicity of the Latin Versions in his time, that this 
view of the unity and authority of the African Version is 
untenable. 'Every one/ he says, 'in the first times of 
' the faith who gained possession of a Greek manuscript 
'and fancied that he had any little acquaintance with 
'both Greek and Latin ventured to translate it^' On 

of Apostolic 

1 Adv. Marc. I v. 2. 

2 Adv. Marc. iv. i: ...duos deos 
dividens, proinde diversos, alterum 
alterius instrumenti, vel, quod magis 
Usui est dicere, testamenti... 

* The phrase Novum Testamentum 
was used both of the Christian dis- 
pensation and of the of it : 
adv. Marc. iv. 22; adv. Prax. 31. 

Insti'umentum is used in late Latin 
of public or official documents: e.g. 

Instrumenta litis — Instrumentum im- 
perii (Suet. Vesp. 8) — Instrumenti 
publici auctoritas (Suet. Cat. 8).^ It 
is a favourite word with Tertullian : 
Apol. I. 18, Instrumentum litteratu- 
m; adv. Marc. V. 2, Instrumentum 
actorum; de Resurrec. Carnis, 39, 
Apostolus per totum fern instrumen- 
tum^ de Spectac. 5, Instrumenta cih- 
nicarum litter arum. 

* De Doctr. Christ. II. 16 (xi.): 




such a question the general statement of Augustine is 
of little weight. It is not unlikely that he is simply 
giving what seemed to him to be the most natural ex- 
planation of the multiplicity of existing copies. More- 
over the alterations by revisers would cover the kind of 
changes to which he refers \ But even if we admit that 
the first version included the work of different transla- 
tors, yet the analogy of later times is sufficient to prove 
that the freedom of individual translation must have 
been soon limited by ecclesiastical use. The translations 
of separate books would be combined into a volume. 
Some recension of the popular text would be adopted in 
the public services of each Church, and this would na- 
turally become the standard text of the district over 
which its influence extended I Even if it be proved that 
new Latin Versions' agreeing more or less exactly with 
the African Version were made in Italy, Spain, and 
Gaul, as the congregations of Latin Christians increased 
in number and importance, that fact proves nothing 
against the existence of an African original. For if we 
call all these various Versions 'new,' we must limit the 
force of the word to a fresh revision and not to an inde- 
pendent translation of the whole. There is not the 

Ut enim cuique primis fidei tempo- Comp. Ziegler, a. cu O. 59. 
ribus in manus venit codex graecus, ^ There is a clear trace of such an 
et aliqiiantulum facultatis sibi utrius- ecclesiastical recension in Aug. de 
que linguce habere videbatur, ausus Cons. Evv. il. 128 (lxvi.): Non au- 
est interpretari. This can only refer, tem ita se habet vel quod Joannes 
I believe, to translation, and not to interponit, vel codices Ecclesiastici 
the inteipolation of a translation interpretationis usitatcE. He is speak- 
already made. Lachmann's explan- ing of the quotation (Zech. ix. 9) in 
ation of the passage (Pref. p. XIV.) is Matt- xxi. 7, compared with John 
quite arbitrary, if I understand him. xii. 14, 15. 

The Old Version arose out of private ^ The history of the English Ver- 
efforts, and was afterwards corrupted sions may offer a parallel. The Ver- 
by private interpolations; but the sion of Tyndale is related to those 
two facts are to be kept distinct. that followed it in the same way per- 
1 Comp. Retract i. 11. 3, His haps as the Vetus Latina to such re- 
own study of the Bible was in an censions (or 'new Versions,' as they 
Italian and not in an African text, may be called) as the Itala. 




slightest trace of the existence of independent Latin Ver- 
sions; and the statements of Augustine are fully satisfied 
by supposing a series of ecclesiastical recensions of one 
fundamental text, which were in turn reproduced with 
variations and corrections in private Manuscripts. In 
this way there might well be said to be an 'infinite variety 
' of Latin interpreters V while a particular recension like 
the 'Itala' could be selected for general commendation^ 
The outline which I have roughly drawn is fully 
justified by the documents which exhibit the various 
forms of the Latin Version before the time of Jerome. 
They are all united by a certain generic character, and 
again subdivided by specific differences, which will be 
capable I believe of clear and accurate distinction as 
soon as the quotations of the early Latin Fathers shall 
have been carefully collated with existing Manuscripts^ 
The writings of Tertullian offer the true starting-point in 
the history of the Old Latin Text*. His manner of cita- 

1 Aug. deDodr. Christ, ii. 16 (xi.). 
This was no less true of the Old 
than of the New Testament. Cf. 
Aug. Epp. Lxxi. 6 (IV.); lxxxii. 

35 (v.). 

2 Aug. de Doctr. Christ. II. 1^ 
(XV.): In ipsis autem interpretatio- 
nibus Itala casteris proeferatur; nam 
est verborum tenacior cum perspicui- 
tate sententise. The last clause pro- 
bably points to the character by 
which the Itala was distinguished 
from the Africana. If, as I believe, 
Tertullian's quotations exhibit the 
earliest form of the latter, 'clearness 
of expression ' was certainly not one 
of its merits. The connexion of Au- 
gustine with Ambrose naturally ex- 
plains his preference for the Itala. 
For the specific sense of Itala as 
equivalent geographically to Lango- 
bardica, see an interesting essay by 
Rev. J. Kenrick, Theol. Rev. July, 

' A rough classification of Manu- 
scripts is given in the Dictionary of 
the Bible, s. v. Vulgate. 

•* It will be evident I think that 
Tertullian has preserved the original 
text of the African version from a 
comparison of his readings in the 
following passages, taken from two 
books only, with those of the other 
authorities : 

Acts iii. 19 — 21; de Resurr. Cam. 
11 (IV. p. 255). 

— xiii. 46 ; de Fiiga, 6 (ill. p. 

183). • 

— XV. 28; de Piidic. 12 (iv. p. 

Rom. V. 3, 4; c. Gnost. 13 (11. p 


— vi. I — 13; de Pudic. 17 (iv. 

p. 414). 

— vi. 20 — 23; de Resurr. Cam. 

47 (III. p. 303). 

— vii. 2 — 6; de Monog. 13 (iii. 

p. 163). 




tion is often loose, and he frequently exhibits various 
renderings of the same text, but even in such cases it is 
not difficult to determine the reading which he found in 
the current Version from that which he was himself in- 
clined to substitute for it\ 

We have no means of tracing the history of the 
Version before the time of Tertullian; but its previous 
existence is attested by other contemporary evidence. 
The Latin translation of Irenaeus was probably known 
to Tertullian^; and the Scriptural quotations which 
occur in it were evidently taken from some foreign 
source, and not rendered by the translator^ That this 
source was no other than a recension of the Vetiis La- 
tina appears from the coincidence of readings which it 

— viii. 35—39; C' Gnost. 13 (11. 

p. 383). 

— xi. 33 ; adv. Hermog. 45 (ll. 

p. 141). 

— xii. I ; de Resurr. Cam. 47 

(ni. p. 306). 

— xii. 10; adv. Marc. V. 14 (i. 

p. 439)- 
The remarkable readings in the 
other books are equally striking. 
The Version which Tertullian used 
was marked by the use of Greek 
words, as machcsra {adv. Marc. IV. 
29; iT. Gnost. 13); sophia {adv. Her- 
mog. 45); choicus {de Resurr. Cam. 
49). Some peculiar words are of 
frequent occurrence, e.g. tingo {^air- 
Tii^u) — delinquentia { afj-apria). 

1 As a specimen of the text which 
Tertullian's quotations exhibit I have 
given his various readings in two 
chapters. The references are to the 
marginal pages of Semler's edition. 
Matt, i, I : geniturce (in. 392) for 
16: generavit {genuit) Jo- 
seph virum Mariae, ex {de) 
qua nascitnr {natus est) Chris- 
tus (III. 387). 
20 : nam quod (quod enim) 


25 : ecce virgo concipiet 

(so a b c) in utero et pariet 
filium (in. 381) cujus et voca- 
bitur (Iren. 452 vocabiint) no- 
men Emmanuel. ..(II. 257). 
Rom. i. 8: gratias agit Deo per 
doininiini nostru?fi (<?/;/. )Jesum 
Christum (ii. 261). 

16, 17: non enim me pn- 

det Evangelii {erubesco Evan- 
gelhem...]udseo {otn. primum 
with BG, al.) et Groeco; quia 
justitia (justitia enim)...{\. 


18 : otn. omnem, coruin. 


20 : invisibilia enim ejus 

{ipsius) a conditione {creaturd) 
mundi de factitamentis {per eg, 
qua facta stmt) intellecta 
visuntur {conspichintur) (iv. 
250). Cf. II. 141: Invisi- 
bilia ejus ab institutione mun- 
di factis ejus (so Hil.) con- 
^ Cf. Grabe, Proleg. ad Ireit. Ii. 
3 (11. p. 36, ed. Stieren). 

3 Cf. Lachmann, N. T. Pref. p. 
X. f. 




exhibits with the most trustworthy Manuscripts of the 
Version \ In other words the Vetus Latina is recog- 
nised in the first Latin literature of the Church : it can 
be traced back as far as the earliest records of Latin 
Christianity, and every circumstance connected with it 
indicates the most remote antiquity. But in the absence 
of further evidence we cannot attempt to fix more than 
the inferior limit of its date; and even that cannot be 
done with certainty, owing to the doubtful chronology of 
Tertullian's life. Briefly however the case may be stated 
thus. If the Version was, as has been seen, generally in 
use in Africa in his time, and had been in circulation 
sufficiently long to stereotype the meaning of particular 
phrases, we cannot allow less than twenty years for its 
publication and spread: and if we take into account its 
extension into Gaul and its reception there, that period 
will seem too short. Now the beginning of Tertullian's 
literary activity cannot be placed later than c. 190 A.D., 
and we shall thus obtain the date 170 A.D. as that be- 

Chap. iii. 

^ The relation of the text of Ter- 
tullian's quotations to that of the 
Latin Translation of Irenseus is very 
interesting, as may be seen from the 
following examples. The variations 
from the Vulgate (V) (Lachmann) 
are given in Italics : 

Matt. i. I. Generationis, Iren. 471, 
505 (ed. Stieren) : Genitura^ 

10. Quod enim habet in 

utero {ventre)^ Iren. 505, 638: 
Quod in ea natum est, Tert. 

— iii. 7, 8. Cf. Luke iii. 7 : 
Progenies — fructum, Iren. 

457 : Genimina fructum 

(fructus, IV. 393), Tert. ii. 95. 

— — 12. Palam habens in 
manu ejus ad emundandani 
aream suam, Iren. 569 : Pa- 
lam (al. ventilabrum) in 
manu portat ad piirgandam 


rream suam, Tert. Ii. 4. Cf. 
III. 172. 
Matt. iv. 3. Si tu es filius Lei, 
Iren. 576. Tert. 11. 189. 
(As Vulg. Iren. 774; Tert. 
II. 199.) 

4. Non in pane tantuni 

(c. tr.) vivit^ Iren. 774; Non 
in solo pane (so a; tr. V.) 
vivit, Tert. 11. 313. 

6. Iren. 775 ; Si tu es 

filius Dei, dejice te hinc : 
Scriptum est enim quod man- 
davit angelis suis (tr.) super 
te, ut te manibus suis tollant, 
necubi ad lapidem pedem 
tuum offendas (tr.), Tert. 11. 
Tertullian and the Translator of 
Irenseus represent respectively, I be- 
lieve, the original African and Gallic 
recensions of the Vetus Latina. 

The inferior 
limit of its 




fore which the Version must have been made. How 
much more ancient it really is cannot yet be discovered. 
Not only is the character of the Version itself a proof of 
its extreme age; but the mutual relations of different 
parts of it shew that it was made originally by dif- 
ferent hands; and if so, it is natural to conjecture that 
it was coeval with the introduction of Christianity into 
Africa, and the result of the spontaneous efforts of Afri- 
can Christians. 

The Canon of the Old Latin Version coincided I be- 
lieve exactly with that of the Muratorian fragment. It 
contained the Four Gospels, the Acts, thirteen Epistles 
of St Paul, the three Catholic Epistles of St John, the 
first Epistle of St Peter, the Epistle of St Jude, and the 
Apocalypse. To these the Epistle to the Hebrews was 
added subsequently, but before the time of Tertullian, 
and without the author's name. There is no external 
evidence to shew that the Epistle of St James or the 
second Epistle of St Peter was included in the Vetiis 
Latina. The earliest Latin testimonies to both of them, 
so far as I am aware, are those of Hilary, Jerome, and 
Rufinus in his Latin Version of Origen\ 

The Manuscripts in which the Old Latin Version is 
found are few, but some of them are of great antiquity. 
In the Gospels Lachmann made use of four, of which 
one belongs to the fourth, and another to the fourth or 
fifth century^ To these Tischendorf has since added 
several others more or less perfect, ranging in date from 
the fifth to the eleventh century; and our own Libraries 

1 It is impossible to lay any stress 
on the passage in Firmilian, ap. Cypr. 
Ep. Lxxv. Even if Irenseus himself 
was acquainted with the Epistle of 
St James (r. Hccr. v. I. i), no ar- 
gument can be built >on the reference 
to prove the existence of the Epistle 

in a Latin Version. 

2 I have given a full list of these 
Manuscripts in the Dictionary of the 
Bible, s. V. Vulgate. A more complete 
list with the addition of recently dis- 
covered authorities is given by Zieg- 
ler, a. a. 0. 107 ff. 



contain several other copies of great interest. The ver- 
sion of the Acts in addition to two (or three) frag- 
mentary authorities, is contained in three Manuscripts 
of the sixth and eighth centuries, which however clearly 
represent originals of much earlier date. The Pauline 
Epistles are represented by several Manuscripts of the 
sixth and ninth centuries : but there is no Manuscript 
which gives the original form of the text of the Catholic 
Epistles. The Codex Bezce has alone preserved a frag- 
ment of the third Epistle of St John, which is found 
immediately before the Acts ; and as it is expressly 
stated that the Acts follows, it appears that the Epistle 
of St Jude was either omitted or transposed. Two other 
early Manuscripts which contain respectively the Epistle 
of St James and fragments of the Epistle of St James and 
of the first Epistle of St Peter, give the text of the Italian 
recension and not of the Vetus Latina. There is no ante- 
Hieronymian Manuscript of the second Epistle of St 
Peter, of the Epistle of St Jude, or of the Apocalypse \ 

The evidence of TertuUian as to the Old Latin 
Canon may be taken to complete that which is derived 
directly from Manuscripts. His language leaves little 
doubt as to the position which the Epistle of St Jude 
and that to the Hebrews occupied in the African Church. 
The former he assigns directly to the Apostle Jude; and 
if so, its canonicity in the strictest sense was assured I 
And since the reference is made without any limitation 
or expression of doubt, since it is indeed made in order 
to prove the authority of the Book of Enoch, as if the 
quotation by St Jude were decisive, it may be assumed 
that TertuUian found the book in the * New Testament ' 
of his Church. 

^ Yet compare A. A. 
yournal of Philology, 

VanSlttart, Ziegler, s. ill. n. 7. 

1872, and 2 Tertull. de Cult, Fcem. c. 

Chap. iii. 
the Acts. 

the Epistles 
of St Paul, 


The evidence 
lian as to 
the Canoni- 
city of the 
Epistle of 
St Jude, 

S 2 




On the other hand his single direct reference to the 
Epistle to the Hebrews leads to the opposite conclusion. 
After appealing to the testimony of the Apostles in 
support of his Montanist views of Christian discipline, 
and bringing forward passages from most of the Epistles 
of St Paul and from the Apocalypse and first Epistle of 
St John, he says\ 'The discipline of the Apostles is 
' thus clear and decisive. ... I wish however, though it be 
'superfluous, to bring forward also the testimony of a 
'companion of the Apostles, well fitted to confirm the 
' discipline of his teachers on the point before us. For 
' there is extant an Epistle to the Hebrews which bears 
' the name of Barnabas. The writer has consequently 
' adequate authority, as being one whom St Paul placed 
' beside himself in the point of continence ; and certainly 
'the Epistle of Barnabas is more commonly received 
' among the Churches than the Apocryphal Shepherd 
'of adulterers.' He then quotes with very remarkable 
various readings* Hebr. vi. 4 — 8, and concludes by say- 
ing : ' One who had learnt from the Apostles, and had 

1 Tertull. de Pudic. c. 10. See Part 
IT. Chap. II. for the original, and 
p. 261. 

2 Tertull. /. c. : Tmpossibile est 
enim eos qui semel illuminati sunt 
(V. tr.) et donum coeleste gustave- 
runt (V. tr. gustav. etia7n d. c), et 
participaverunt %^\x\tum^tim (V. 
participes sunt facti ?,i^. s.), et verbum 
dei duke gustaverunt (V. tr. gustav. 
nihilominus bonum d. v.), occidente 

jam <zvo cum excidermt (V. virtutes- 
que scEculi venturi et prolapsi sunt) 
rursus revocari in poenitentiam {V. 
renovari r. ad pcen.), r^figentes cruci 
(V. rursum cruci figentes) in semet- 
ipsos (V. j/(5/met ipsis) filium dei et 
dedecorantes (V. ostcntui habentcs). 
Terra enim quce bibit scepius de\Q.w\- 
entem in se humorem (V. sccpe ven. 
super se bibens imbrem) et peperit 

herbam aptam his propter quos et 
colitur (V.. generans h. opportunam 
illis a quibus c.) benedictionem dei 
consequitur (V. accipit b. a dco) ; pro- 
ferens autem spinas (V. + ac tribulos) 
reproba (V. + est) et maledietioni 
(V. maledicto) proxima, cujusyfww in 
exustionem (V. c. consummatio in 

The number and character of the 
various readings perhaps justify the 
belief that the translation given was 
made by Tertullian himself. It is 
certainly independent of that pre- 
served in the Vulgate and that in 
the Claromontane Manuscript. 

It may be added that the quota- 
tions from the Epistle in Jerome's 
Latin Version of Origen's Homilies 
on Isaiah, e.g. Horn. vii. t, are most 




' taught with the Apostles, knew this, that a second 
' repentance was never promised by the Apostles to an 
' adulterer or fornicator.' If the Epistle had formed part 
of the African Canon, it is impossible that Tertullian 
should have spoken thus : for the passage bore more 
directly on his argument than any other, and yet he in- 
troduces it only as a secondary testimony. The book 
v/as certainly received with respect ; but still it could 
be compared with the Shepherd, which at least made no 
claim to Apostolicity. And it is by this mark that Ter- 
tullian distinguishes between the Epistle of St Jude and 
the Epistle [of Barnabas] to the Hebrews. The one 
was stamped with the mark of the Apostle : the other 
was neither that, nor yet supported by direct Apostolic 

Tertullian quotes the Apocalypse very frequently, 
and ascribes it positively to St John, though he notices 
the objections of Marcion. The text of his quotations 
exhibits a general agreement with that of the Vulgate ; 
and it is evident that the version of which he made use 
was not essentially different from that current in later 
times \ There is then every reason to believe that when 
he wrote, the book was generally circulated in Africa ; 
and as the translation then received retained its hold on 
the Church, it is probable that it was supported by eccle- 


and the 


^ The following are some of the 
most important various readings : 

Apoc. i. 6 : Regnuin quoque nos et 
sacerdotes... de Exhort. 
Cast. c. 7. 

ii. 20 — 23; Jezebel quae se 

prophseten dicit et docet 
atque seducit servos meos 
ad fomica.ndum et eden- 
dum de idolothytis. Et 
largitus sum illi spatium 
temporis ut poenitentiam 
iniret^ nee vult earn inire 

«^w/«^fomicationis. Ecce 
dabo earn in lectum, et 
mceehos ejtcs cum ipsa in 
maximam ptrssuram, nisi 
pcenitentiam egerint ope- 
rum ejus, de Pudic. c. 19. 
Apoc. vii. 14: Hi sunt qui veni- 
unt ex ilia pj'essura mag- 
na, et laverunt vestimen- 
tum suum et candidave- 
runt ipsum in sanguine 
agni. c. Gnost. c. 12. 




siastical use. In other words everything tends to shew 
that the Apocalypse was acknowledged in Africa from 
the earliest times as Canonical Scripture. 

In two of his treatises Tertullian appears to give a 
general summary of the contents of the Latin New Tes- 
tament of his time\ In one*^ after quoting passages 
from the Old Testament he continues : ' This is enough 
* from the Prophetic Instrume7it : I appeal now to the 
' Gospels! Passages from St Matthew, St Luke, and 
St John follow in order. Afterwards comes a reference 
to the Apocalypse as contained in the Instrument of 
John ; and then a general reference to the Apostolic In- 
trument^. The first quotations under this head are 
from the Acts, and then from most of the Epistles in 
the Instricment [0/ Paul]. The omission of St Mark's 
Gospel shews that the enumeration is not complete ; but 
the broad distinction of the different Instruments points 
to the existence of distinct groups of books, which may 
have been separately circulated. In another treatise, 
probably of a somewhat earlier date"*, Tertullian ob- 
serves a similar arrangement. First he quotes the 
Gospels, or rather as he calls it ' the Gospel ;' and then 
appeals to the Apostolic Instrument in which again he 
includes the Acts and the Epistles of St Paul. After- 
wards 'not to dwell always on Paul' he notices the 
Apocalypse and first Epistle of St John, and speaks of 
a passage from the last chapter as * the close of his 
' writing.' And then it is, when he has noticed the ' dis- 

1 This was first pointed out by 
Credner and Volkraar: Credner, 
Geschichte d. N. T. Kanon^ pp. 1 7 1 fif. ; 
364 fF. Comp. Roensch, Das N. T. 
TerttilHan's,^'] ff., 3i6fr., 528if.,555 ff. 

2 De Resurr. Cam. cc. 33, 38, 39, 
40. This treatise was written c. 
A*D. 207 — 10. 

' c. 39 : Resurrectionem Aposto- 
lica quoque Instrumenta testantur... 
Tunc et Apostolus [Paulus] per to- 
tum pene Instrumentum fidem hujus. 
spei corroborare curavit. c. 40 : Nihil 
autem mirum si et ex ipsius [Pauli] 
Instrumento captentur argumenta... 

* De Fudiciday cc. 6, 12, 19. 




' cipline of the Apostles/ that he adds as it were over 
and above 'a testimony of a companion of the Apostles' 
taken from 'the Epistle of Barnabas to the Hebrews \' 
The absence of all mention of the first Epistle of St 
Peter is remarkable ; and it has been supposed with 
some probability that he was not acquainted with it till 
the close of his life, and then only from the Greek, 

Internal evidence is not wanting to confirm the con- 
clusions drawn from other sources. The peculiarities of 
language in different parts of the Vulgate offer a most 
interesting field for inquiry. Jerome's revision may have 
done something to assimilate the style of the whole, yet 
sufficient traces of the original text remain to distinguish 
the hand of various translators. Indeed in the Epistles 
Jerome's work seems to have been most perfunctory, 
and to have consisted in little more than the selection 
and partial revision of some one copy. But however 
tempting it might be to prosecute -the inquiry at length, 
it would be superfluous at present to do more than point 
out how far it bears on those books which we suppose 
not to have formed part of the original African Canon ^. 

The second Epistle of St Peter offers the best oppor- 
tunity for testing the worth of the investigation. If we 
suppose that it was at once received into the Canon like 
the first Epistle ^ it would in all probability have been 

1 c. 20 : Disciplina igitur Aposto- 
lorum proprie quiderainstruit...Volo 
tamen ex redundantia alicujus etiam 
comitis Apostolorum testimonium su- 
perducere... Comp. Ft. il. ch. 11. 
and p. 246 f. 

2 F. P. Dutripon's ConcordanticB 
Bibliorum Sacrorwn Vulgatm Editio- 
nis, Parisiis, MDCCCLiii. (the dates on 
the title vary) appears to be com- 
plete and satisfactory so far as the 
Sixtine text is concerned, but it is 
impossible not to regret the absence 

of all reference to important various 

^ It must however be noticed that 
the actual traces of the early use of 
I Peter in the Latin Churches are 
very scanty. There is not the least 
evidence to shew that its authority 
was ever disputed, but on the other 
hand it does not seem to have been 
much read. The Epistle is not men- 
tioned in the Muratorian Canon, 
though no stress can be laid upon 
that fact. It is more strange that 

Chap. iii. 

The lan- 
guage of titt 

V7t gate 

The lan- 
guage of 
2 Peter. 




translated by the same person, as seems to have been 
the case with the Gospel of St Luke and the Acts, 
though their connexion is less obvious ; and while every 
allowance is made for the difference in style in the ori- 
ginal Epistles, we must look for the same rendering of 
the same phrases. But when on the contrary it appears 
that the Latin text of the Epistle not only exhibits con- 
stant and remarkable differences from the text of other 
parts of the Vulgate, but also differs from the first 
Epistle in the rendering of words common to both : 
when it further appears that it differs no less clearly 
from the Epistle of St Jude (which was received in the 
African Church) in those parts which are almost iden- 
tical in the Greek : then the supposition that it was 
admitted into the Canon at the same time with them 
becomes at once unnatural. It is indeed possible that 

Tertullian quotes it only twice, and 
that too in writings which are more 
or less open to suspicion. In the 
treatise c, Gnosticos the references 
are long and explicit : c. 12 : Cui po- 
tius [Christus] figuram vocis suae de- 
clarasset quam cui effigiem gloriae 
suae mutavit, Petro, Jacobo, Johanni, 
et postea Paulo ?...Petrus quidem ad 
Ponticos quanta enim inquit gloria^ 
&c. 1 Peter ii. 20, 21; et rursus : 
I Peter iv. 12 — 16. Similarly there 
is a possible but tacit reference to 
I Peter ii. 22 in r. yi^dcvos 10. The 
supposed reference in de Exhort. Cast. 
I will not hold ; and that in adv. 
Marc. IV. 13 is most doubtful. The 
Epistle is constantly quoted by Cy- 
prian, and under the title ad Ponti- 
cos in Testim. ill. 36; and all the Ca- 
tholic Epistles are contained in the 
Claromontane Stichometry. See App. 
D. No. XVI. 

1 The following examples will con- 
firm the statements made in the text : 

I. Differences from the general 
renderings of the Vulgate : 

Koiv(avb%, fconsors (i. 4) ; ijKpd- 
rcia, ^^abstinentia (i. 6); TrXeoj'- 
dfct;/, superare (i. 8) ; dpyos, 
vacuus (id.) ; airovddjyiu, sata- 
gere (i. 10; iii. 14; i. 15, dare 
operam) ; wapovala, prccsentia 
[of Christ] (i. 16); iiriyvcoa-is, 
cognitio (i. 2, 3, 8 ; ii. 20; cf. 
Rom. iii. 20?); Apxtuoi, "^iori- 
ginalis (ii. 5). 

II. Differences from the render- 
ings in I Peter : 

irXyid^jveadai, adimpleri {\. 2); mttl- 

tipUcari (i Pet. i. 2). 
iiridufiia, concupiscentia (i. 4; ii. 

10; iii. 3); desiderium (i Pet. 

i. 14; ii. II ; iv. 2, 3); so also 

2 Pet. ii. 18. 
rripeiv, resei-vare (ii. 4, 9, 17; iii. 

7); conservare {i Pet. i. 4). 

III. Differences from the trans- 
lation of St Jude: 

akoyos, f^inrationadi/is (ii. 12); 

mutus (Jude 10). 
^ddpeadai, perire (id.) ; corrumpi 





the two Epistles may have been received at the same 
time and yet have found different translators. The 
Epistle of St Jude and the second Epistle of St Peter 
may have been translated independently, and yet both 
have been admitted together into the Canon. But when 
the silence of Tertullian is viewed in connexion with the 
character of the version of the latter Epistle, the natural 
conclusion is that in his time it was as yet untranslated. 
The two lines of evidence mutually support each other. 

The translation of St James's Epistle has several 
peculiar renderings ; but in this case no more can be 
said with confidence than that it was the work of a 
special translator. One or two words indeed appear to 
me to indicate that it was made later than the transla- 
tions of the acknowledged books, but they cannot be 
urged as conclusive \ 

The Latin text of the Epistle to the Hebrews ex- 
hibits the most remarkable phenomena. As it stands 
in the Vulgate it is marked by numerous singularities 
of language and inaccuracies of translation ; but the 
readings of the Claromontane Manuscript are most in- 

Chap. iii. 

ffvvevwx^'to'dai, luxtiriare vobiscum 

(13); +t convivari (12). 
56^ai, sedcB (10); majestas (8). 
6 ^60os rov ckStovs, caligo tenc- 
bi'arum (17); procella tenebra- 
rum (13). , 
Words marked f .occur nowhere 
else in the New Testament Vulgate : 
those marked W occur nowhere else 
in the whole Vulgate. 

1 The following peculiarities may 

be noticed in the version of St James : 

dTrXws, +t affluenter (i. 5); d7r\6- 

T17S, simplicitas (2 Cor. viii. 2; 

ix. II, 6^r.). 

oteaBai, csstijfiare (i. 7) ; existimare 

(Phil. i. 17). 
dyavrjTol, dilecti, dilechssimi (i. 
16, 19; ii. 5; so Hebr. vi. 9; 

I Cor. XV. 58) ; elsewhere caris- 
sinti (twenty times). 

&Tifjt.dl^€iu, fex/ionorare (ii. 6) ; else- 
where inhonorare, contumelia 

<j<j3^iiv, salvare (i. 21; v. 15, 20); 
generally salvum facere, salvus 
esse and ^eri. 

irKyipovv, supplere (ii. 23); else- 
where implere, adimplere. 

071/65, pudicus (iii. 17, so Phil. iv. 
8) ; elsewhere castus^ and pnce 

dTrorideffdai, abjicere (i. 21, so 
Rom. xiii. 12); elsewhere depo- 
nere (six times). 

IxoAcapi^ia, \beatifico (v. 11). 

TToKeixetv, '\belligero (iv. 2). 

olKTlpfiujv, fmiseraior {y. 11). 

0/ St James, 


o/the Epi- 
stle to the 




teresting and important. Sometimes the translator in 
his anxiety to preserve the letter of the original employs 
words of no authority : sometimes he adapts the Latin 
to the Greek form : sometimes he paraphrases a parti- 
cipial sentence to avoid the ambiguity of a literal ren- 
dering: and again sometimes he entirely perverts the 
meaning of the author by neglecting the secondary 
meanings of Greek words\ The translation was evi- 
dently made at a very early period ; but it was not made 
by any of those whose work can be traced in other parts 
of the New Testament, and apparently it was not sub- 
mitted to that revision which necessarily attended the 
habitual use of Scripture in the services of the Church. 
The Claromontane text of the Epistle to the Hebrews 
represents I believe more completely than any other 
Manuscript the simplest form of the Vctus Latina ; but 
from the very fact that the text of this Epistle exhibits 
more marked peculiarities than are found in any of the 
Pauline Epistles, it follows that it occupies a peculiar 
position. In other words, internal evidence, as far as it 
reaches, confirms the belief that the Epistle to the He- 
brews, though known in Africa as early perhaps as any 
other book of the New Testament, was not admitted at 
first into the African Canon. ' The custom of the Latins,' 
as Jerome said even in his time, ^ received it not^' 

Only a few words are needed to sum up the testi- 
mony of these most ancient Versions to our Canon of 

1 The Latin text of the Manu- 
script is almost incredibly corrupt, 
from the ignorance of the tran- 
scriber, who accommodated the ter- 
minations of the words, and often 
the words themselves, to his ele- 
mentary conceptions of grammar. 
Still a reference to the readings in 
the following passages will justify 
the statements which I have made : 

i. 6, 10, 14; ii. 1—3, 15, 18; iii. i; 
iv. I, 3, 13; V. 11; vi. 8, 16; vii. 18; 


2 It may be added that in the 
Claromontane Stichometry it is still 
called the Epistle of Barnabas. There 
cannot, I think, be any doubt as to 
the identification. The number of 
ctIxoi serve to identify the book. See 
App. D. No. XX. 




the New Testament. Their voice is one to which we 
cannot refuse to listen. They give the testimony of 
Churches, and not of individuals. They are sanctioned 
by public use, and not only supported by private criti- 
cism. Combined with the original Greek they repre- 
sent the New Testament Scriptures as they were read 
throughout the whole of Christendom towards the close 
of the second century. Even to the present day they 
have maintained their place in the services of a vast 
majority of Christians, though the languages in which 
they were written only live now so far as they have sup- 
plied the materials for the construction of later dialects. 
They furnish a proof of the authority of the books which 
they contain, wide-spread, continuous, reaching to the 
utmost verge of our historic records. Their real weight 
is even greater than this ; for when history first speaks 
of them it speaks as of that which was recognised as a 
heritage from an earlier period, which cannot have been 
long after the days of the Apostles. 

Both Canons however are imperfect ; but their very 
imperfection is not without its lesson. The Western 
Church has indeed as we believe under the guidance of 
Providence completed the sum of her treasures ; but the 
East has clung hitherto to its earliest decision. Indi- 
vidual writers have accepted the full Canon of the West ; 
but even Ephraem Syrus failed to influence the judgment 
of his Church. And can this element of fixity be with- 
out its influence on our estimate of the basis of the 
Syrian Canon } Can that which was guarded so jea- 
lously have been made without care ? Can that which 
was received without hesitation by Churches which dif-- 
fered on grave doctrines have been formed originally 
without the sanction of some power from which it was 
felt that there was no appeal .'* The Canon fails in com- 

Chap. iii. 

the Early 

The results 
of the imper- 
fectum of 
the Syrian. 




pleteness, but that is its single error. Succeeding ages 
registered their belief in the exclusive originative power 
of the first age, when they refused to change what that 
had determined. So far they witnessed to a great 
truth ; but in practice that truth can only be realized by 
a perfect induction. And their error arose not from the 
principle of conservatism on which it rested, but from the 
imperfect data by which the sum of Apostolic teaching 
was determined. 

To obtain a complete idea of the judgment of the 
Church we must combine the two Canons ; and then it 
will be found that of the books which we receive one 
only, the second Epistle of St Peter, wants the earliest 
public sanction of ecclesiastical use as an Apostolic work. 
In other words, by enlarging our view so as to compre- 
hend the whole of Christendom and unite the different 
lines of Apostolic tradition, we obtain with one excep- 
tion a perfect New Testament, without the admixture of 
any foreign element. The testimony of Churches con- 
firms and illustrates the testimony of Christians. There 
is but one difference. Individual writers vary in the 
degree of respect which they shew to Apocryphal writ- 
ings, and the same is true also in a less degree of single 
Churches; but the voice of the Catholic Church defi- 
nitely and unhesitatingly excluded them from the Canon. 
And in this decision as to the narrow limits which they 
fixed to the Canon, it appears that they were guided by 
local and direct knowledge. The Epistle to the He- 
brews and the Epistle of St James were at once received 
in the Churches to which they were specially directed ; 
and external circumstances help us to explain more ex- 
actly the facts of their history. The Epistle of St 
James was not only distinctly addressed to Jews, but as 
it seems was also written in Palestine. It cannot there- 




fore be surprising that the Latin Churches were for some 
time ignorant of its existence. The Epistle to the He- 
brews on the contrary was probably written from Italy, 
though it was destined especially for Hebrew converts. 
And thus the letter was known in the Latin Churches, 
though they hesitated to admit it into the Canon, believ- 
ing that it was not written by the hand of St Paul. The 
Apocalypse again was acknowledged from the earliest 
time in the scene of St John's labours : and the very in- 
definiteness of the addresses of the Epistle of St Jude 
and of the second Epistle of St Peter may have tended 
to retard and limit their spread. 

These considerations however belong to another 
place ; but it is in this way, by combination with col- 
lateral evidence internal and external, that the earliest 
Versions are proved to occupy an important position in 
the history of the Canon. A fuller investigation would 
I believe establish many interesting results, especially if 
pursued with a constant reference to the present state of 
the Greek text; but for our immediate purpose the 
general outline which has been given is sufficiently accu- 
rate and comprehensive. It is enough to shew that the 
Versions exhibit a Canon practically — that they sanction 
no Apocryphal book — that they speak with the voice of 
early Christendom — that they go back to a period so 
remote as to precede all historic records of the Churches 
in which they were used. 

Chap. iv. 

The import- 
ance of the 
testimony of 
heretics to 
the Cation. 

No attacks 
ivere made 
on the Canon 



Non periclitor dicere ipsas qtioque Scriptttras sic esse ex Dei vohintate 
dispositas ut hareiicis materias subministrarent. 


THE New Testament recognises the existence of 
parties and heresies in the Christian society from 
its first origin ; and conversely the earhest false teachers 
witness more or less clearly to the existence and recep- 
tion of our Canonical Books. The authority of the col- 
lection of the Christian Scriptures rests necessarily on 
other proof, but still the acknowledgment of their au- 
thenticity in detail by conflicting sects confirms with 
independent weight the results which we have already 
obtained. It cannot be supposed that those who cast 
aside the teaching of the Church on other points would 
have been willing to uphold its judgment on Holy 
Scripture unless it had been supported by competent 
evidence. Custom and reverence might mould the be- 
lief of those within the Catholic communion, but sepa- 
ratists left themselves no positive ground for the re- 
ception of the Apostolic books but the testimony of 

Still further: even negatively the history of the 
ante-Nicene heresies establishes our general conclusions. 

Part I.] 



The first three centuries were marked by long and reso- 
lute struggles within and without the Church. Almost 
every point in the Christian Creed was canvassed and 
denied in turn. The power of Judaism, strong in 
widespread influence and sensuous attractions, first 
sought to confine Christianity within its own sphere, 
and then to embody itself in the new faith. The spirit 
of Gnosticism, keen, restless, and self-confident, seems to 
have exhausted every combination of Christianity and 
philosophy. Mani announced himself as divinely com- 
missioned to reform and reinstate the whole fabric of 
tJie faith oitce (aira^) delivered to the saints. And still 
it cannot be shewn that the Canon of * acknowledged ' 
books was ever assailed on historic grounds up to the 
period of its final recognition. Different books, or classes 
of books, were rejected from time to time, but no at- 
tempt was made to justify the measure by outward 
testimony. A partial view of Christianity was substi- 
tuted for its complete form, and the Scriptures were 
judged by an arbitrary standard of doctrine. The new 
systems were not based on any historical reconstruction 
of the Canon, but the contents of the Canon were 
limited by subjective systems of Christianity. 

This important fact did not escape the notice of the 
champions of Catholic truth. Irenaeus, Tertullian, Ori- 
gen, and later writers, insist much and earnestly on the 
fact that heretics sought to maintain their own doctrines 
from the Canonical books, fulfilling the very prophecy 
therein contained that there must fteeds be heresies. * So 
' great is the surety of the Gospels, that even the very 
' heretics bear witness to them ; so that each one of them 
'taking the Gospels as his starting-point endeavours 
'thereby to maintain his own teachingV 'They pro- 

^ Iren. c, Hccr. ill. 11. 7. 

Chap. iv. 

of the New 
on historical 
grounds by 


The Fathers 
insist on 
this fact. 


1 Cor. xi. 19. 




Chap. iv. 

The testi' 
many of 
however is 
partial and 


* fess,' says Tertullian, ' to appeal to the Scriptures : 
' they urge arguments from the Scriptures : ' and then 
he adds indignantly, '■ as if they could draw arguments 
'■ about matters of faith from any other source than the 
'records of faith \' 

It has however been already noticed that they did 
not all accept the whole Canon. How far they really 
used our Scriptures as authoritative will appear in the 
course of our inquiry ; at present I only call attention to 
the general truth that they recognised an authoritative 
written word, which either wholly or in part coincided 
with our own. And the very fact that they did rnake 
choice of certain books whereon to rest their teaching 
shews that the use of Scripture was not a mere conces- 
sion to their opponents, but the expression of their own 

We have seen that even in the Catholic Church 
various tendencies and lines of belief are reflected in the 
special use made by different Fathers of groups of 
Apostolic writings. In heretical books the same result 
is found in an exaggerated form. In this as in every- 
thing else heresy is special, limited, partial, where the 
Church is general, wide, catholic. Differences which are 
exalted in the one into party characteristics and tests of 
communion or division are tolerated in the other as im- 
perfect and isolated growths or possible springs of some 
future and beneficent development. The one will define 
everything sharply now, whether in criticism or dogma 
or discipline : the other is content to know that the end 
is not yet, and to believe that in the broad range of 
truth * God fulfils Himself in many ways.* 

^ De Eraser. Hcer. c. 14: Sedipsi [non] possent de rebus fidei nisi ex 
de scripturis agunt et de sciipturis litteris fidei. Cf. Lardner's History 
suadent ! Aliunde scilicet suadere of Heretics^ Bk. i. § 10. 




But apart from this essential difference in the treat- 
ment of the whole subject, the character of the testimony 
of heretical writers to the books of the New Testament 
is strictly analogous to that of the Fathers in its pro- 
gressive development. In the first age, an oral Gospel, 
so to speak, was everywhere current ; and all who as- 
sumed the name of Christ sought to establish their 
doctrine by His traditional teaching. Controversies were 
conducted by arguments from the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures, or by appeals to general principles and known 
facts.' The conception of a definite New Testament was 
wholly foreign to the time. And while it has been seen 
how little can be found in the scanty writings of the first 
age to prove the peculiar authority of the Gospels and 
the Epistles, those who seceded from the company of 
the Apostles necessarily refused to be ruled by their 

§ I. The Heretical Teachers of the Apostolic Age. 
Simon Magus — Menander — Cerinthus, 

The earliest group of heretical teachers exhibits in 
striking contrast the two antagonistic principles of re- 
ligious error. Mj^^^tiidsm on the one hand and Lggalisni 
on the other appear in clear conflict. By both the Work 
and Person of Christ are disparaged and set aside. In 
Simon Magus and Menander we may see the embodi- 
ment of the antichristian element of the Gentile world ^ : 
in Cerinthus the embodiment of the antichristian ele- 
ment of Judaism. Catholic truth seems to be the only 
explanation of their simultaneous appearance. 

1 It would be interesting to in- nation. In his school, if anywhere, 

quire how far the magical arts uni- we should look for an advanced 

versally attributed to Simon and his knowledge of Nature. 
followers admit of a physical expla- 

C. T 

Chap. iv. 

mental an 
tagonism in 
heresy front 
the first. 





Chap. iv. 

Simon Ma- 
gus invested 
with a re- 



The witness 
to the books 
of the New 
in the Great 

It has been shewn that among the Apostolic Fathers 
one, Clement of Rome, was invested by tradition with 
representative attributes analogous in a certain degree 
to his real character, by which he was raised to heroic 
proportions. In like manner among the false teachers 
of the age Simon Magus a Samaritan of Gittae is invested 
by the common consent of all early writers with mys- 
terious importance as the great ^bgresiarch, the open 
enemy of the Apostles, inspired as it were by the Spirit 
of Evil to countermine the work of the Saviour, and to 
found a school of error in opposition to the Church of 
God. The story of his life has undoubtedly received 
many apocryphal embellishments ; but, as in the case of 
Clement, it cannot but be that his acts and teaching 
offered some salient points to which they could fitly 
be attached. Till the recent discovery of the work 
'against Heresies*,' the history and doctrine of Simon 
Magus were commonly disregarded as being inextricably 
involved in fable ; but there at length some surer ground 
is gained. While giving a general outline of his prin- 
ciples, Hippolytus has preserved several quotations from 
the Great Announcement'^, which was published under 
his name, and contained an account of the revelation 
with which he professed to be entrusted. The work 
itself cannot have been written by him, but it was pro- 
bably compiled from his oral teaching by one of his 

^ [Origenis] Philosophumena^ sive rary of Hippolytus at Rome, if not 
omnium hcBvesium refutation e Cod. by Hippolytus hims^f. Dollinger 
Par. ed. E. Miller, Oxon. mdcccli. has presented the arguments in sup- 
The work cannot be Origen's; and port of Hippolytus' claims in the 
scholars generally agree to assign it most satisfactory form, 
to Hippolytus Bishop of Portus near ^ ' A7r60a<rt?, 'AirStpaffis fieydXyj. 
Rome. I shall therefore quote it [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. vi. 9 sqq. ' An- 
under his name ; for though I think nouncement' hardly conveys the 
that the question of its authorship force of the original word, which im- 
is not yet settled beyond all doubt," plies an official or authoritative de- 
internal evidence proves that it must claration. 
have been written by a contempo- 




immediate followers^: at any rate the language of Hip- 
polytus shews that in his time it was acknowledged as 
an authentic summary of the Simonian doctrine^ In 
the fragments which remain there are coincidences with 
words recorded in the Gospel of St Matthew^ and pro- 
bably with a passage in the Gospel of St John*. Re- 
ference is also made to the first Epistle to the Corin- 
thians, in terms which prove that it was placed by the 
author on the same footing as the books of the Old 
Testament ^ 

Not only did the Simonians make use of the Canon- 
ical books, but they ascribed the forgeries current 
among them to 'Christ and his disciples, in order to 
'deceive those who loved Christ and his servants^' 
They recognised not only some of the elements of the 
New Testament, but also the principle on which it was 
formed. The writings of the Apostles were acknow- 
ledged to have a peculiar weight: Christians sought in 
them the confirmation of the teaching which they heard, 

^ Bunsen suggests Menander (r. 
54), apparently without any autho- 

^ He quotes it constantly with the 
words \iyei 5i 6 Xifitav, (pT](ri. 

3 [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. VI. i6=Matt. 
iii. 10. The various readings are 
singular: ^771)5 7a p irou, <f>7)(riv, 
7} a^lvt] irapa rcos pi^as rod biv- 

8pOV K.T.X. 

Simon's description of Helen 
([Hipp.] adv.^H(Br. vi. 19) as 'the 
strayed sheep' ,(t6 Trpd^arov rb ire- 
irXavrjijAvov) is an evident allusion to 
the parable in Luke xv. The sub- 
stitution of ir€Tr\avrifjt,4vov for diroXo}- 
X6s is to be noticed. Cf. Matt, xviii. 
12, 13 {t6 Tr\aP(jJiJL€Pov...Tois fii] ire- 
irXavTjfxivoLs) ; Iren. c. Hcer. I. 8. 4. 
Bunsen supposes that he combined 
the parable with the healing of the 
Syro-Phoenician's daughter. Cf. Uhl- 

horn, Die Homilien^ u. s. w. p. 296. 

^ id. VI. 9: oiKTjTTjpLOP d^ Xiyei 
elvai rbv dudpuirov tovtov tov ef al- 
yJxTUiv yeyev7)iJLivov (John i. 13) /cat 
KaroiKeiu iu avT(^ ttjv diripavTov 56- 
vafxiv rjv pi^av ehai t(2p oKwv (prfalv. 

Bunsen (i. pp. 49, 55) considers 
the statement that Simon manifested 
himself to the Samaritans as the 
Father ([Hipp.] adv. Hcer. vi. 19) to 
be a reference to John iv. 11 — 23. 

^ adv. Hcer. vi. 13 : tovto iffrl, 
^rjai, TO elprjix^vov "Iva fii] (ri>v t(^ 
KbcFjxi^ KaraKpidcjfiev (i Cor. xi. 32). 

6 Constit. Apost. vi. 16. i : O'iba- 
fi€v ydp oTL ol irepl "Ziifiiova kuI KXeb- 
^lou ididr] avprd^avTCS ^i^Xta iir 6vb- 
fjbarc Xpiarov Kal tQu fxadrjTQv airov 
irepKp^fjOVcnv eh dirdTrjv vfiuiv tQv ire- 
spiXrjKOTUv Xptarov Kal Ti/xds Toiis ai- 
Tov SoiJXous. 

T 2 

Chap. iv. 

T^e Simon- 
ians recog- 
nised the 
authority of 
the Apostles. 





Chap. iv. 


2 Tim. ii. 18. 


His relation 
to Simon 

His ac- 
Tvith the 
New Testa- 

and the seeming authority of their sanction gained ac- 
ceptance for that which was otherwise rejected. 

Menander, the scholar and fellow-countryman of 
Simon Magus, is said to have repeated and advanced 
his master's teaching. His doctrine of the Resurrection, 
in which he taught that those who * were baptized into 
'him died no more but continued to live in immortal 
' youth V reminds us of the error of Hymenceiis and Phi- 
letus who said that the Resurrection was past already ; 
otherwise I am not aware that anything which is known 
of his system points directly to the Scriptures. 

While Simon Magus represents the intellectual and 
rationalistic element of Gnosticism, Cerinthus represents 
it under a ceremonial and partially Judaizing form. The 
one was a Samaritan, the natural enemy of Judaism; the 
other was 'trained in the teaching of the Egyptians V 
among whom the interpretation of the Law had become 
a science. The traditional opponent of the one was 
St Peter ; of the other St John ; and this antagonism 
admirably expresses their relative position. St John 
however was not the only Apostle with whom Cerinthus 
came into conflict. Epiphanius' makes him one of those 
who headed the extreme Jewish party in their attacks 
on St Peter for eating with Gentiles, and on St Paul 
for polluting the temple. The statement in itself is 
plausible : an excessive devotion to the Law was a 
natural preparation for mere material views of Chris- 

Cerinthus was evidently acquainted with the sub- 
stance of the Gospel history. He must have known 
the orthodox accounts of the parentage of our Lord. 

1 Iren. c. Hcer. i. 23. 5 : Resur- severare non senescentes et immor- 

rectionem enim per id quod est in tales. 

eum baptisma accipere ejus discipu- ^ [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. vii. 33. 

los, et ultra non posse mori, sed per- 3 Epiph. Har. xxviii. 2 — 4. 




He was familiar with the details of His Baptism, of 
His preaching, of His Miracles, of His death, and of 
His Resurrection \ *The Cerinthians,' Epiphanius says, 
'make use of St Matthew's GospeP as the Ebionites do, 
*on account of the human genealogy, though their copy 
*is not entire... The Apostle Paul they entirely reject, 
* on account of his opposition to circumcision.' But the 
chief importance of Cerinthus is in relation to St John. 
It has been said that he was the author of the Apoca- 
lypse, and even of all the books attributed to the 
Apostle. And on the other hand it is the popular be- 
lief that the fourth Gospel was written to refute his 
errors. The coincidence is singular, and it is necessary 
to consider on what grounds these assertions have been 

The transition from Judaizing views to Chiliasm is 
very simple, and Cerinthus appears to have entertained 
Chiliastic opinions of the most extreme form. In the 
account which Eusebius gives of him this fact is dwelt 
upon as if it were the characteristic of his system. In 
the earliest ages of the Church the language of Chiliasm 
at least was generally current ; but from the time of 
Origen it fell into discredit from the gross extravagances 
which it had occasioned. The reaction itself became 
extreme ; and imagery in itself essentially scriptural 

^ [Hipp.] adv'. Har. I.e. Epiph. 
/. c. What Epiphanius says {Beer. 
xxviii. 6) of Cerinthus' teaching 
Xpt(TTbv ireirovdivai Kal iaravpQadai 
jifj^TTW 5^ iyTjy4p6ou, fi^XXeiv 5^ avL- 
araadai brav 7/ KadoXov y^yrjTat. ve- 
Kpuv avdcTTaatt, is to be taken as de- 
scribing Epiphanius' deductions from 
his teaching, and not as giving Ce- 
rinthus' dogmas. 

2 Epiph. Beer, xxvill. 5 : Xpuv 
rai yap rip Karoi. MarOaiov eiJa77e- 
Xiy airb fxiipovs Kal ovxl SXy 5td ttiv 

yeveaXoylav rrjv haapKov. It is not 
known in what the mutilation of the 
Gospel consisted. But that he did 
not remove the whole of the first 
two chapters, as the Ebionites did, 
appears again from what Epipha- 
nius says, Bar. xxx. 14: 6 filv yhp 
K-fipivdos Kal KapwoKpoii ry aur^ 
Xpit'f^^J'OL drjdev Trap* avTOis evayye- 
Xlip dirb r^s d/>X^s '''^^ Karii. Mar- 
daiov eCayyeXlov 5ia rrjs yiveaXoyias 
^oOXovrai Trapiarav iK aT^p/xaros 'I- 
fa?(r7j0 Kal Maplas elj/ai rbv XpiTTOv. 



I/ow the 
catne to be 
to him. 




and pure was confounded with the glosses by which it 
had been interpreted. The Apocalypse, though sup- 
ported by the clearest early testimony, was now viewed 
with distrust. *Some said that it was unintelligible 
' and unconnected : that its title was false, for that it was 
'not the work of John: that that was certainly not a 
'revelation which was enwrapped in a gross and thick 
'veil of ignorance V The arguments are purely subjec- 
tive and internal. There is not a hint of any histori- 
cal evidence for the opinion. The doctrine of the book 
was false, and consequently it could not be Apostolic. 
It became then necessary to assign it to a new author. 
Cerinthus it appears had written revelations, and as- 
sumed the Apostolic style**: it is possible that he had 
directly imitated St John : he was distinguished for 
Chiliasm ; and thus the conclusion was prepared, that 
he was the writer of the Apocalypse, and that he had 
ascribed it to St John from the desire 'to affix a name 
'of credit to his forgery;* to continue the quotation, 'for 
'this was the principle of his teaching, that the king- 
'dom of Christ would be earthly, and consist in those 
' things which he himself desired, being a man devoted 
'to sensual enjoyments and wholly carnal.' The Chi- 
liasm of Cerinthus is here distinctly brought forward 
as the ground of what can only be considered as a 
conjecture; and Dionysius, who gives the history of the 
conjecture at length, was unwilling to accept it as true. 

That the ascription of the Apocalypse to Cerinthus 
was in fact a mere arbitrary hypothesis resting on doc- 

^ Dionys. Alex. ap. Euseb. H. E. 
III. 28, VII. 25. 

2 Theodor. Fab. Haret. 11. 3 (ap. 
Routh, II. 139). The famous frag- 
ment of Caius is ambiguous ; ap. Eu- 
seb. H.E. III. 28. I may express 
my decided belief that Caius is not 

speaking of the Apocalypse of St 
John, but of books written by Ce- 
rinthus in imitation of it. The theo- 
logy of the Apocalypse is wholly in- 
consistent with what we know of 
Cerinthus' views on the Person of 
Christ. , 




trinal grounds is further shewn by the extension which 
was afterwards given to it. A body of men whom 
Epiphanius calls by a convenient name, which he him- 
self invented, Alogi, attributed not only the Apocalypse 
but also the Gospel and the writings of St John gene- 
rally to Cerinthus^ and this purely on internal grounds. 
It was found difficult to reconcile the fourth Gospel 
with the Synoptists, and forthwith it was pronounced an 
Apocryphal book. Some theory was necessary to ac- 
count for its origin, and as one of the Apostle's writings 
had been already assigned to Cerinthus, this was placed 
in the same category, in spite of its doctrinal character. 
The Epistles could not be separated from the Gospels ; 
and so this early essay in criticism was completed. One 
important deduction follows from it. It may fairly be 
concluded that the early date of the writings which bear 
St John's name was acknowledged; and thus when his 
authorship was set aside they were assigned to a con- 
temporary of the Apostle, and not to any later writer. 

Nothing however can be more truly opposite to Ce- 
rinthianism than the theology of St John. The character 
of his Gospel was evidently influenced by prevailing 
errors ; and though it is unnecessary to degrade it into a 
mere controversial work, it is impossible not to feel that 
it was written to satisfy some pressing want of the age, 
to meet some false philosophy which had already begun 
to fashion a peculiar dialect, and to offer a solution by 
the help of Christian ideas of some of the great problems 
of humanity. Cerinthus upheld a ceremonial system, 

1 Epiph. Hcer. Li. 3. The history title Epiphanius simply wished to 

of the sect (if it can be so called) is include all those who rejected St 

very obscure, but we have only to John's writings. See Credner [Volk- 

do with the fact, which is sufficiently mar], Geschichte d. N. T. KanoUy p. 

supported by Epiphanius' authority. 185, anm. 
It is very probable that under this 

Chap. iv. 

The other 
works of St 
John also 
attHbtited to 

St John 
trttly anta- 
gonistic to 




and taught only a temporary union of God's Spirit with 
man. St John proclaimed that Judaism had passed 
away, and set forth clearly the manifestation of the 
Eternal Word in His historic Incarnation no less than 
in His union with the true believer. The teaching of 
St John is doubtless far deeper and wider than was 
needed to meet the errors of Cerinthus, but it has a 
natural connexion with the period in which he lived. 

This relation of the first heretics to the Apostles is 
of the utmost importance. Like the early Fathers, they 
witness to Catholic Truth rather than to the Catholic 
Scriptures: they exhibit the correlative errors as the 
Fathers embodied its constituent parts. The real per- 
sonality of Simon Magus and Cerinthus is raised beyond 
all reasonable doubt. The general character of their 
doctrine can be determined with certainty. And when 
we find the marks of activity of speculation, depth of 
thought, and variety of judgment in false teachers, can 
it appear wonderful that in the writings of the Apostles 
there are analogous differences } If the books of the 
New Testament stood alone, we might marvel at their 
fulness and diversity; but when it is found that their 
characteristic differences are not only stereotyped in Ca- 
tholic doctrine but implied in contemporary heresies, 
they fall as it were into a natural historic position. They 
are felt to belong to that Apostolic age in which every 
power of man seems to have been quickened with some 
spiritual energy. No long interval of time was then 
needed for the gradual evolution of the various forms 
of teaching which they preserve. Error sprung up with 
a titanic growth: truth came down full-formed from 
heaven to conquer it. 

But when it is said that the perfect principles of 
Gnosticism may be detected in these earliest heretics, I 




do not by any means ignore the vast developments 
which they afterwards received. In one respect the 
teaching of the Simonians and Cerinthians furnishes an 
important link between Catholic doctrine and the later 
Gnosticism of Valentinus or Marcion. In these systems 
the phenomena of the world are explained by the as- 
sumption of a Dualism — more or less complete — of a 
fundamental opposition between powers of good and 
evil. The creation was removed farther and farther 
from God, till at last it was ascribed to His enemy. 
The cosmogony of Simon Magus* and of Cerinthus^ 
occupies a mean position. In this the world is re- 
presented as the work of Angels, themselves the off- 
spring of God, who were also the authors of the Jewish 
Law and the inspirers of the Prophets. Against such 
a form of Gnosticism the Epistle to the Hebrews and 
the Introduction to St John's Gospel speak with divine 
power; but of the later developments there is not a trace 
in the New Testament. If however we suppose that any 
parts of it, the Pastoral Epistles for instance, or the 
Epistle of St Jude, had been written after the Apostolic 
age, is it possible that no word should have betrayed a 
knowledge of the existence of such theories, when error 
was being combated with an intense feeling of its present 
danger? The books which claim to be Apostolic are by 
their very character the produce of the Apostolic age. 
Exactly in proportion as we take into account the whole 

^ There is some confusion in the 
account given by Hippolytus. In 
the first part, where he refers to the 
Great Announcement^ the cosmogony 
of Simon appears to be expressed in 
a physical form. Fire is the funda- 
mental element of the universe. This 
I believe to be the original form of 
his theory. Afterwards in a pas- 
sage nearly identical with the ac- 

count of Irenseus we read of a crea- 
tion by Angels, of an arbitrary Moral 
Law, of the secondary inspiration of 
the Prophets {adv. Hcer. VI. 19 : Iren. 
c. Hcer. I. 23). Uhlhom, wrongly I 
think, takes the opposite view of the 
relative dates of the two systems 
{a. a. O. 293). 
* Epiph. Hcer. xxviii. i, 2. 




history of Christianity in its developments within and 
without the Church, we find more surely that it implies 
a complete New Testament as its foundation; that at no 
subsequent period was there an opportunity for the 
forgery of writings which are seen to be the sources and 
not the results of different systems of speculation. 

§ 2. The Ophites and Ebionites. 

While Simon Magus appeared in some measure as 
the author of an organised counterfeit of Christianity, 
claiming to be himself an Incarnation of the Deity, and 
opposing magical powers to the Apostolic miracles, 
Christians elsewhere came into contact with existing 
speculative schools, and often survived the encounter 
only to become ranged with their former enemies. In 
this way sects arose which were not called by the name 
of any special founder but by some general title. Pro- 
bably one of the earliest of these was the sect of the 
Naasseni, Ophites, or Serpent-'worshippers. Hippolytus, 
professing to follow the order of time, places them in 
the first rank ; and it is evident that their system was not 
a mere corruption of Christianity, but rather a more 
ancient creed into which some Christian ideas were in- 
fused. Consistently with this view Origen^ speaks of 
Ophites who required all who entered their society to 
blaspheme Christ; the bitterness of which law may be 
best explained if we suppose that it was first framed 
against some Christianizing members of their own body. 

The Christian Ophites whom Hippolytus describes 
appear to have been the first who assumed the title of 
Gnostics ^ They professed to derive their doctrines 

1 c. Cels. VI. 28. ffKOVTcs jxovoL rh ^ddrj yiPilxxKciP. Cf. 

2 adv. Har. V. 6: fiercL 5^ ravra 1 Cor. ii. 10; Apoc. ii. 24. 
iireKdXeffav iavrods TvucriKoh, ^d- 




through Marlamne from James the Lord's brother^; and 
thus the authorities which he quotes may be supposed 
to date from, the age next succeeding that of the Apo- 
stles. Their whole system shews an intimate familiarity 
with the language of the New Testament Scriptures- 
The passages given from their books ^ contain clear 
references to the Gospels of St Matthew, St Luke, and 
St John ; to the Epistles of St Paul to the Romans, the 
Corinthians (both Epistles), the Ephesians, and the 
Galatians ; and probably to the Epistle to the Hebrews 
and the Apocalypse ^ They made use also of the 
Gospel according to the Egyptians and of the Gospel of 
St Thomas*. 

The Peratici and the Sethiani are placed by Hippoly- 
tus in close connexion with the Ophites. The passages 
of the esoteric doctrine {airoppTjTa fjLvcrTrjpia) of the Pera- 
tici which he brings to light contain obvious references to 
the Gospel of St John, the first Epistle to the Corin- 

^ adv. Hcer. v. 7. 

2 The description of their opinions 
is constantly prefaced by the words 
<^a.(Tiv or ipfial. 

3 The following list of references, 
which might be increased, will shew 
to what extent the Ophites made 
use of the New Testament Scrip- 

St Matthew xiii. 33, 44, [Hipp.] 
adv. Hcer. ^. ip8; xiii. 3sqq.,p. 113; 
xxiii. -27, Ta0oi kark K€Kovid/Meuoi (cf. 
supr. p. 147), p. Ill ; vii. 21, p. 112; 
xxi. 31, p. 112; iii. 10, p. 113; vii. 6, 
p. IT4; vii. 14, 13, p. 11^. 

St Luke xvii. 21, pp. 100, 108; 
xvii. 4, p. 102 (?); xviii. 19 + Matt. 
V. 45, p. 102 ; xi. 33, p. 103. 

St John iv. 10, pp. 100, 121 ; x. 
34+ Luke vi. 35, (Ps. Ixxxii. 6) p. 
106; iii. 6, p. 106; i. 3, 4, asLachm. 
p. 107; ii. I — 12, p. 108; vi. 53+ xiii. 
33; id. XX. 23, p. 109; v. 37, 
p. 109; x. 9, p. Ill; iv. 21, 23, p. 

117 ; VI. 44, p. 112; IX. I, 1.9, p. 121. 
Romans i. 20 — 23, &=c. p. 99 (as 
St Paul's). 

1 Cor.ii. 13, 14, p. 112 ; x. ii,p. 113. 

2 Cor. xii. 2, 4, p. 112. 
Gal. iii. 28, &^<:. p. 92. 

Eph. iii. 15, pp. 97, 105; V. 14, 
p. 104; iii. 5, p. 107; ii. 17, p. III. 

Heb. V. II, p. 97. 

Apoc. ii. 27, p. 104. 

* Their use of the ' Gospel en- 
' titled according to the Egyptians ' 
(p. 98) and that * entitled according 
' to Thomas' (p. loi) does not prove 
that they ascribed to those books Ca- 
nonical authority. Generally indeed 
the references to the Gospels are to 
our Lord's words, and I believe in 
every case anonymous. The passage 
quoted from the Gospel of St Tho- 
mas is not found in any of the pre- 
sent recensions of it. Cf. Tischen- 
dorf, £w. Aj>ocr. Pref. p. xxxix. 




thians, and that to the Colossians\ The writings of the 
Sethiani again allude to the Gospels of St Matthew and 
St John and two of the Epistles of St PauP. 

Apart from these special references the whole system 
of the Ophites bears clear witness to the authenticity of 
St John's Gospel. Everything tends to prove that in 
them we see one of the earliest forms of heresy. A 
similar combination of Gentile mysticism with Jewish 
and Christian ideas troubled the Church of Colossae even 
in St Paul's time. Irenaeus himself speaks of the 
Ophites as the first source of the Valentinian school, the 
original * hydra-head from which its manifold progeny 
* was derived;' and yet even they far passed the limits 
which St John had fixed for Christian speculation, and 
thereby witness that they belonged to a later generation. 

The Ophites, like Simon Magus, represent a system 
to which Gentile mysticism gave its predominating 
character : on the opposite side was ranged the famous 
sect of the Ebionites, by whom Judaism was made an 
essential part of Christian life. Like Cerinthus they 
received a mutilated recension of St Matthew's Gospel ^* 

^ St John iii. 17 [rh elprifjJvov, cf. 
Lukeix. 56), p. 125; iii. 14, p. 134; 
i. I — 4, p. 134 (wrongly divided by 
the editor?); viii. 44, p. 136; x. 7, 
p. 137. I Cor. xi. 32 (17 ypatprj) p. 
125. Col. ii. 9 (t6 Xeyd/xevov) pp. 

124, 315. 

^ Matt. X. 34, p. 146. John iii. 
5, p. 141; iv. 14, p. 143; 2 Cor. V. 
2, p. 143; Phil. ii. 6, 7, pp. 143, 

The account of the Ophites is 
concluded by a summary of the opi- 
nions of Justin a Gnostic. The use 
of Isaiah Ixiv. 4 in his teaching (p. 
158) fully justifies the conjecture 
which I proposed above in p. 208, 
n. 3, andf I think it very likely that 
Hegesippus had him in view when 

he wrote. In the quotations made 
from his writings there are apparent 
references to Luke xxiii. 46, p. 157; 
John iv. 14, p. 158; xix. 26, id. The 
use of Amen as an angelic name (p. 
151) may point, as Bunsen observes, 
to Apoc. iii. 14. 

2 Iren. c. Har. I. 26. 2 : Solo eo 
quod est secundum Matthseum evan- 
gelio utuntur et Apostolum Paulum 
recusant, apostatam eum legis dicen- 
tes. Eusebius calls this Gospel that 
'according to the Hebrews ' {H. E. 
III. 27), and adds that the Ebionites 
* made little account of the rest.' 

This is not the proper place to enter 
on an accurate inquiry into the per- 
plexed question of the various forms 
of St Matthew's Gospel. I believe 




like him they wholly rejected the authority and writings 
of St Paul ; but nothing I believe is known of their 
judgment on the Catholic Epistles. They cannot how- 
ever have received St John's Epistles ; and his Gospel, 
though not specially mentioned, must be included among 
those of which ' they made no account' 

One remarkable product of the Ebionite School still 
remains to be noticed, the Clementine Homilies'^^ The 
writer of this singularly interesting book was a deter- 
mined adversary of the teaching of St Paul ; and there 
can be no doubt that St Paul himself is referred to as 
* the enemy whose lawless and foolish teaching some of 
*the Gentiles accepted' in opposition to the alleged 
preaching of St Peter ^ Here then if anywhere we 
might expect to find clear traces of evangelic traditions 
different in character and contents from those preserved 
in the Canonical Gospels, if such traditions had been 
really current in the early Church. But the facts are 
entirely at variance with this natural expectation. There 

them to have been the following: the subject, as some have supposed. 

(a) The original Aramcean text. It should be added that the book is 

(i) A revision (?) of this in- the product of an isolated speculator 

eluded in the Peshito. and cannot be supposed to represent 

(2) An interpolated text used a considerable society. This fact has 
by the Nazarenes, which con- been strangely overlooked in the con- 
tained the first two chapters, elusions which have been hastily drawn 
and is described by Jerome, from them. Comp. Lightfoot, Gala- 

(3) A mutilated and interpo- tians^ pp. 326 ff. 

lated text used by the Ebi- ^ j^p^ p^t^i ^d Joe. 1 : rivh rdv 
onites.' dw6 kQvGsv rb di ifxov vbfiLfxov dire- 
(j3) An [Apostolic] translation in Sodfiaaav K-fjpvyixa rov ix^pov dvOpdj- 
Greek. trod dvofidv riva Kal <f>\vapii)dij irpoffrj- 
^ I quote the Homilies only, because Kd/xepoi di^acKoklav. I am not aware 
the Latin translation of the Recog- that there is a clear reference to any 
nitions has been modified by Ruffinus. of the Epistles of the New Testa- 
It may be noticed however that the ment in the Clementine writings, 
passage in Recogn, i. 68 which limits Dr Tregelles {Canon Murat. p. 89) 
the argument from Scripture to ' the has however pointed out a striking 
*Law and the Prophets ' refers only to coincidence of language eticnp dXi7^(3s 
a discussion between Jews and Chris- r% aXijdeiq. ffvv€pyi}<rai 64\€is {Horn, 
tians, and does not contain any de- XVII. 19) with 3 John 8. 
termination of the Christian view on 




are references to about eighty different words of the 
Lord, and of those, so far as I have noticed, there is 
not one which contains anything essentially divergent 
from our Gospels, and there are not more than three or 
four which are not contained substantially in our Gospels^ 
Of the remaining quotations many are unquestionably 
free reproductions of the document, whatever it may 
have been, with which the writer was most familiar; 
about ten agree very closely with the text of St Matthew ^ 
one with the text of St Mark', and one with the text of 
St John*. The remaining passages agree in sense but 
not in letter with parallels in our Gospels, and of these 
parallels about four-fifths occur in St Matthew^ 

^ The references are given in the 
Introd. to Study of the Gospels App. 
D. III. The sayings not contained 
in the Gospels which appear to be 
authentic are : (i) yivecrde Tpaire^iTaL 
86Ktfioi (Horn. III. 50, &c.) ; (2) ra 
dyada iXdecu (Jet. /xaKdpios d4, iprjclv, 
di ov ^px^rai {Horn, xii^ 29) ; (3) /wrj 
56x6 irplxpaaiv T(p irovqpi^ {Horn. XIX. 
2). Other sayings are more of the 
nature of glosses (i) 6 irovripbs iariv 6 
ireipd^uiv {Horn. III. 55) : (2) 5tct rl ov 
yo€iT€ rb evXoyov tu)v ypa<pQ)v [Horn. 
III. 50) ; (3) ra fivar'^pia ifxol Kal rois 
vlois rod oIkov fiov (poXd^are. Comp. 
Is. xxiv. 16, LXX. * Comp. Horn. 
XIX. 20. 

Of facts not noticed in the Gospels 
I have only noted the name of the 
Syrophoenician woman (Justin. Horn. 
II. 19); for the astronomical deduc- 
tions in II. 23, I. 6 f. can hardly be 
called facts. 

2 The passages which I have 
marked are: Horn. ill. 51 || Matt. v. 
17; Horn. III. 52 II Matt. xi. 28, xv. 
13; Horn. III. 55 II Matt. xxii. 32; 
Horn. VIII. 4 II Matt. xxii. 14; {Horn. 
XI. 33 II Matt. xii. 42) ; Horn, xviii. 
15 II Matt. xiii. 35; Horn. Xix. 2 || 
Matt. vi. 13, xii. 26 ; Horn. xix. 7 ij 
Matt. xii. 34. 

3 Horn. III. 57 II Mark xii. 29. , In 
Horn. XIX. 20 Alb Kal rots avroD 
fxadriTais Kar Idiav iwiXve rijs 
tG>v ovpavdv ^aaiXeias ixvariipia we 
have one of the few phrases peculiar 
to St Mark (iv. 34 : /car lUav rocs 
idlois fiadrp-ah iir^Xvev irdvTa. This 
is the only place where e7riXi;a> oc- 
curs in the Gospels. Cf. Uhlhorn, 
Die Homilien^ u. s. w. 122. 

* Horn. XIX. 22 : "OB^v Kal [6 5i- 
5d(rK]aXos i^fiQv irepl tov iK yeverrji 
irrjpov Kal dva^X^xpavros Trap airroO 
i^eTd[^v(n rots fJLadTjraXs] el ovros 
TjfjLapTev ^ ol yovels avroO 'iva 
TVipXbs yeuvrjdy dTreKplvaro' ovre 
ovt6s tl ijfiapTev oUre oi yoveXs 
airov, dXX' tva St a^uroO (pavepco- 
6fj "^ divafiLS TOV GeoO rijs dypolas 
lu)fi4vT] rd djiapriipLara. Cf. John ix. 
I, sqq. Uhlhorn, 128 ff. 

It may fairly be left for any reader 
to decide which is the earlier form of 
words Iva (pavepudy rd ^pya tov deov 
iv auTtp (John ix. 3) or tua 81' airrov 
<f>avep(ady 7) 8{>pafXLS tov deov riji 
dyvoias liafiivrj rd dfiapT-^fiaTa. 

^ Horn. XVII. 5 contains a close 
summary of a parable peculiar to 
St Luke (xviii. 6 ff.). See also Hom^ 
XI. 20 II Luke xxiii. 34. 




This is not the place to discuss the Clementine quo- 
tations at length. The writer was distinctly opposed to 
the Catholic Church, so that even if it could be shewn de- 
cisively that he used a Gospel which was not recognised 
by the Church, no conclusion could be drawn from that 
fact as to the coequal authority of such a document with 
the four Gospels in the Church itself. But the general^ 
summary just given shews that the quotations as a whole 
do establish one point of primary importance. They 
shew beyond the possibility of doubt that our Gospels 
preserve with practical completeness all that was known 
and believed of the Gospel history throughout the early 
Church. This is what we are really concerned to know. 
If the Clementines had exhibited a type of narrative 
or of discourses different from that of the Synoptists 
some perplexity might have arisen in determining which 
type was the earlier. As it is, they establish by un- 
impeachable evidence that those who rejected St Paul 
accepted a record of the Lord's teaching substantially 
agreeing with that of St Matthew^. 

The Clementine quotations supply yet another im- 
portant conclusion. In thirteen cases these quotations 
correspond with quotations in Justin Martyr. Now of 
these corresponding quotations only three agree in dif- 
ferences from the canonical text, while the character of 
the two sets of quotations as wholes is markedly dis- 
similar. It is impossible therefore to suppose that both 

^ The quotations in the Clementine 
Homilies have been examined with 
great care by Dr Sanday, The Gospel 
in the Second Century c. vi. Dr San- 
day attaches far greater importance 
than I can do to their testimony, but 
he arrives substantially at the results 
which I have given: 'Either the 
* Clementine writer quotes our pre- 

* sent Gospels, or else he quotes some 
' other composition later than them 
'and which implies them... The 
' facts do not permit us to claim the 
' exclusive use of the canonical Gos- 
*pels. But that they were used, 

* mediately or immediately, and to a 

* greater or less degree, is, I believe, 

* beyond question ' (pp. i86 f.). 

Chap. iv. 

harmony in 

of the Cle- 
from Jus- 





were derived from the same ' Petrine Gospel' without 
admitting a looseness of quotation in Justin and the 
author of the Homilies which if once admitted is suf- 
ficient to explain how Justin's quotations were derived 
from the' canonical texts \ 

The evidence that has been collected from the docu- 
ments of these primitive sects is necessarily somewhat 
vague. It would be more satisfactory to know the exact 
position of their authors and the precise date of their 
composition. It is just possible that Hippolytus made 
use of writings which were current in his own time 
without further examination, and transferred to the 
Apostolic age forms of thought and expression which 
had been the growth of two or even of three generations. 
However improbable this notion may be, it lessens the 
direct argumentative value of the evidence, though it 
leaves the moral impression unimpaired. But it cannot 
be denied that each fresh discovery of ancient records 
confirms the authenticity of the books of the New Testa- 
ment, so far as it bears upon them. The earliest known 
teachers of heresy quote them generally as familiarly 
known to Christians : they shew that they place them 
on the same level as the Old Testament Scriptures by 
the forms of citation which they employ : they appeal 
to them as having authority with those whom they 
address ; and since they used them in their private 
books, it is evident that they recognised their claims 
themselves ^ 

^ See Note at the end of the Sec- 
tion: p. 289. 

2 Eusebius in -noticing the differ- 
ent translators of Scripture {H E. 
VI. 17) mentions that Symmachus 
(c. 200 A.D.) was an Ebionite. He 
then adds : ' And moreover notes 
' (uVo/Ai'Tj/taTo) of Symmachus are 

'still extant (<piperai) in which he 
' appears to support the heresy which 

* I have mentioned, directing his 

* efforts to the Gospel of St Matthew. ' 
The last phrase (irpbs rb Kara Mar- 
daiov diroTeivdfxevoi evayyiXiov) is ob- 
scure; but if its meaning be that 
Symmachus exerted himself to shew 




the superior authority of the Ebi- posed that Symmachus wrote Com- 

onitic text of the Gospel of St Mat- mentaries on St Matthew, and the 

thew, it still offers a singular proof Greek will bear that meaning. Hie- 

of the general reception of the Ca- ron. de Virr. III. 34 : [Symmachus] 

nonical Gospel of St Matthew, though in Evangelium quoque /caret M-arQaXov 

Symmachus assailed it. But Ruffi- scripsit Commentarios, de quo et 

nus, Jerome, and, following them at suum dogma firmare conatur. 
a much later time, Nicephorus, sup- 


The corresponding quotations of Justin Martyr and the 
Clementine, Homilies. 

In the following note I have endeavoured to collect all the cor- 
responding quotations of Justin Martyr and the Homilies. General state- 
ments on such points are apt to be misleading, and the student, with 
all the facts before him, can draw his own conclusions, or test the con- 
clusions of others. I have not thought it worth while to print the 
corresponding texts in our Gospels, for the one point to be decided is 
whether Justin and the author of the Homilies used the same record, 
that record not being one of the Canonical Gospels. 

Justin M. 
Dial. 125 (103) a7roKpiveTai...Ti- 
ypaiTTUL Kipiov t6p debv crov irpoaKv- 
vqaeii Kal avrQ jj.6v(p Xarpeijcreis. 


1. VIII. 21 ^077' TiypawTai. Ki- 
piou rov debv &ov ^o^TjdrjCQ Kal 
avT<^ XarpeiJcreis /Lt6j'y. 

Comp. Matt. iv. 10; Lu. iv. 8. 

2. III. 55 J XIX. 2 i<pri "E&TCO Apol. I. i6...?<rrw Bk v/nm rb pal 
■ufiQp TO val vat, [/cai] ro ov o6' to vai, Kal to ov oJ' t6 8^ irepifrabv 
8k [yb.p'l irepiaaov toOtuv iK tov ttovt)- to^uv e/c tov Tovrjpov. 

pod €(XtIv. 
See p. 154. 

. 3. IIL 57 yive&6€ dyadol Kal 
olKTlpjxoves, ciJS 6 TraTrjp, 6 ip rots 
ovpapoTs, OS dvaTiWei top rfkLOP iir' 
dyadots Kal iroPTipols, Kal<pipec 
TOP veTop iirl diKalois Kal ddi- 


Comp. Luke vi. 36. See p* 140. 

4. III. 55 ^(pT]' 0Z5e yap iraTrjp 


airdpTWP IT pip avTOP a^tcicrere. 
Comp. Matt. vi. 8, 32. 

5. XI. 35^^«/>i7 IloXXoi AeiJo-o;/- 'Apol. 1.16] {Cf. Dial. 55). iroWol 
Tai Tp6s fie ip ipS^fxaa-iirpo^dTcop, ydp-q^ovaip iirl Tq> dpSfiari fxov, 
'ia(j)dep 54 elfft X^ikoi dpirayes' diro i^udep flip ipdedv/x^poi 8ip/xaTa 
Twp Kap-rrQp avrCop ivLyipdjo-KeTe irpo^dTUP, iaiadep tk 6pt€S Xvkoi 
{•a€<r6e) avrois. dpirayes ^ktQp ipyup avTUP iiriypd}- 

Comp. Matt. vii. 15. cecrde airovs. 

jDiaLg6; (Cf. A/>ol. 1. 15). Hveo-^e 
XP'r}<TTol Kal olKTipfJiopes ws Kal 6 
iraTTJp vfiiap b ovpdpios' Kal ydp... 
bpwfxep TOP rfKiop aiiTov dpaTiWoPTa 
i-rrl dxaplffTovs Kal biKalovs Kal 
§piX°^T°- ^""i bffiovs Kal TTOPrj- 

Apol. I. 15 oXbe ydp b iraTrip 
v(jlQp 6 oipdpios 6ti tovtcop xP^^^v 






Chap. iv. 

6. VIII. 4 fi^fivqixai ... elirbuTOS 
iroWol i\eij(rovTat diro avaroKCbv 
Kal dvafiCov dpKTov re Kal fi€<rr]/jL- 
jS/j/as, Kal dvaKKLdrjaovTaL els k6\- 
Tovs ' A/3paa/A Kal 'IffaoiK koX 'laKtS^, 

Comp. Matt. viii. ii. 

7. XVIII. e,...\4yb}v Mri ^o^rj- 
dijre diro rov aTTOKreLvovTOS to 
arcifjia TTJ 8^ ^vxv f^V dvua/xiuov tl 
TTOiijaai' ^o^ridrjTe 8^ tov Svvd/xevov Kal 
(Tw/itt Kal ^vxw f^s TW y^evvav tov 
TTvpos jSaXetj'. val X4yu vfiiv, tov- 
Tov (po^TjdrjTe. 

Comp. Lukexii. 4 f. Matt. x. 28. 

8. XVIII. 4X^761" Ov8els ^vco TOV 
TraTipa el fxrj 6 vlos, us ov8^ t6u vlov 
TLS ol8ev el firj 6 xaTrjp Kal ols dv 
^oijXriTai 6 vlos diroKaXixpai. 

Comp. Matt. xi. 27. 

9. XVIII. 3...?0i7 M17 fie \4ye 
dyaObv 6 yap dyadbs ets icTiv, 6 
iraTTjp 6 iv toTs ovpavois. 

Comp. Matt. xix. 16. 

ro. XV. 5 SiKaiov i(f>a(jKev elyai 
Kal T(p T&iTTovTL avTov TTpf cTiaySva 
irapaTidivai Kal tt/j* cT^pav' Kal 
Ti^ atpoPTi airrov t6 IfidTLOv vpc^crSi- 
8bvai Kal Tb fia(f>6piov' dyya^ev- 
ovTL 8k fiiXiov <TVV(kTr^px^<^do-'- ^<J0 
Kal 8cra Totaura. 

Comp. Matt. v. 39, 40. 

11. XIX. 2; Cf. Horn. XX. 9. 
...elrreTv ■virio'x^TO rots dce^iaiv 
'TirdyeTe els Tb <tk()tos Tb i^dfTepov, S 
ijTol/xaaev 6 irar-qp tQ 8La^6\(p Kal 
Tocs dyyiXois aiTov. 

Comp. Matt^ xxv. 41. 

12. III. 18 dXKh. val, (prjaiv, Kpa- 
Tovffi ixkv TTiv K\etv Tots 8k ^ov\o- 
/xkvois elaeXdeiv o{f irapix^^'^'- 

Comp. Luke xi. 52. 

13. XI. 26 'Afxrjv vfuv XiydJ 'EciJ' 
fi'f} duayevvrjdijre ilSaTt ^Qvtc els 
dvotia TraTpbs, vlov, aylov irvei^^ 
fiaTos, 01) /i^ elaiXdTjTe els ttjv ^atrL- 
Xeiav rdv oipavdv. 

Comp. John iii. 3 ff. 

Dial. 'j6...elird)v,"'H.^ovai,v dirb dva- 
ToXQv Kal 8vapLQv Kal dvaKXidrjcrov- 
Tai ytterd 'A^padp, Kal 'laaaK Kal 
'la/fcJjQ iv Ty ^aaCXeiq. T<av ovpavQv... 

Apol. I. 19 yJr) (po^eta-de Toiis 
dvaipovvTasv/xds Kal /xeTdTavTa 
firj 8wafiivovs Ti Trocrja-aL, eXire' (po^i^- 
drjTe 8k Tbv /xeTd Tb d-jrodavetv 
8vvdp.evov Kal ^vxv" Kal a-cofia els yiev- 
vav ifi^aXeiv. 

Apol. I. 63; Cf. Dial. TOO. o\}8eis 
iyv(a Tbv iraTipa el fir) 6 vlos, ovSk tov 
viov el iXTf 6 iraTTjp Kal ols dv air ok a- 
X Oyprj 6 vios. 

Dial. loi ; Cf. Apol. I. i6...d7re- 
KpivaTo Ti fie Xiyeis dyadSv; els iaHv 
ay adds, 6 TrariJ/j /mov 6 iv tois ovpav- 

Apol. I. 16 ... ^^i; ... T^ ttutttovtI 
aov TTjv (TLaybva irdpex^ Kal ttjv 
dXXrjv' Kal Tbv atpovrd aov Tbv 
XtTuva rj Tb IfidTiov firj KuyXiarjs 
...IT avT I 8k dyyapeijovTi ce fdXiov 
dKoXoijdrjaov 8O0. 

Dial. ']6...i<f)rj ipeiv'TwdyeTe els to 
(TkStos to i^ioTcpov, ijToifxaaev 6 
iraTTjp t(^ Q-a.Tav^ Kal tois dyyiXois 

Dial. I'/. ..roils kXcis #X€re.../cai 
Toiis elaepxopiivo vs /cwXiJere... 

Apol. I. 61 elirev *Av ixrj dvayevvrj- 
6rJT€ ov fiii elaiXdrp-e els t-^v /3a<rt- 
Xeiay tuv ovpavuiv. 

Without entering into any detailed investigation I cannot but indicate 
the results to which these parallels lead. There are three cases (2, 11, 13) 




in which the Clementine quotation agrees more or less with Justin's 
quotation in a difference from our present Evangelic text. These coin- 
cidences have been already noticed (pp. 152 ff.). On the other hand the 
whole complexion of the corresponding quotations differs. A fair com- 
parison of them, therefore, lends no support to the belief that Justin 
and the author of the Clementines quoted from the same source, that 
source not being one or other of the Canonical Gospels. Those who 
have assumed or asserted this conclusion can scarcely have considered 
the parallel quotations as a whole. It is indeed quite possible that 
the author of the Clementines quoted freely from **a Petrine Gospel" 
inserting phrases from the Canonical Gospels, just as Justin quoted freely 
from the Canonical Gospels inserting phrases from other forms of the 
Evangelic narrative. Into this question I do not enter 1. All that is 
to be observed is that the Clementine quotations as a whole differ 
from Justin's (so far as there are materials for a comparison) at least 
as much as Justin's differ from the Canonical texts. 

^ It must be observed that the sayings 
which are quoted more than once in the 
Homilies are quoted almost always either 
in the same form or with very slight vari- 
ations, differing greatly in this respect from 
Justin's quotations. The examples are : 
Horn. II. 51 ; III. 50 ; XVII I. 20. Hom^ 11. 51 ; 
III. 50; XVIII. 20. Hom^ ni,55; Xix. 2. Hotn, 

III. 60; III. 64. {Horn. xix. 2; XX. 9). The 

quotations are all such as would be likely to 
be stereotyped in form, even if they were 
not quoted directly from a written text. On 
the other hand compare Horn. vii. 4(ajrep 

e/catTTOS eavTw /SowAerai koXo. ) with 

Horn. XII. 32 (o fle'^ei ^auTul, ,,...), 

§ 3. Basilides mid Isidorus. 

The case however does not turn wholly on anony- 
mous evidence. The account of Basilides given by Hip- 
polytus is composed mainly of passages from his own 
writings which fully establish the inferences which have 
been hitherto drawn*. The mode in which the books of 

^ The conclusion that Hippolytus 
quotes directly from Basilides seems 
to me to be fully established by the 
following considerations. 

(a) The works of Basilides (his 
'E|7;777riKd) were well knovvTi. 
They were quoted (auraZs Xefe- 
(TLv) by Clement of Alexandria 
and in the discussion of Arche- 
laus and Manes (c. 270 a. d.), 
and probably by Origen, so that 
they may have been easily ac- 
cessible to Hippolytus. 
(/3) The quotations of Hippolytus 
are clearly taken directly from 

some book. The author appears 
in the first person povXofiai 
d^i^ai, \^7a> {Philos. VH. c. 20; 
X^7w c. 21). 
(7) The author whose exposition 
is quoted by * he says ' is iden- 
tified (as I must think) with 
Basilides by necessary implica- 
tion. At the close of the expo- 
sition we read raura fx^v ovv 
e<TTLv a Kal BacriKeidTis fivdevei 
o-Xo\da-as Kara T-qv AHyviTTOV (c. 
27. At the end of Book vi. 
Hippolytus had said Iboiixev ri 
XiyeL Kal BaaiKeLdrjs) ; and in the 

U 2 


Tke charac- 
ter of his 




the New Testament are treated in these fragments shews 
that there is no anachronism in supposing that the earliest 
heretics sought to recommend their doctrines by forced 
explanations of Apostolic language. And yet more 
than this : they contain the earliest undoubted instances 
in which the Old and New Testaments are placed on the 
same level : the Epistles of St Paul are called ' Scrip- 
ture/ and quotations from them are introduced by the 
well-known form *It is writtenV If it seem strange 
that the first direct proofs of a belief in the Inspira- 
tion of the New Testament are derived from such a 
source, it may be remembered that it is more likely 
that the apologist of a suspicious system should sup- 
port his argument by quotations from an authority ac- 
knowledged by his opponents, than that a Christian 
teacher writing to fellow-believers should insist on those 

course of the exposition and in 
direct connexion with it (f>evyeL 
BacriXe/STjs, KoXeZ to tolovto Ba- 
ffiXeldrjs, diriprjTai vwo BacriXeiSov, 
"BaatXeibrjs dtaaacpeX &c. Now 
inasmuch' as Basilides had writ- 
ten on the subjects treated of, 
and his works Were well known, 
nothing but the most cogent evi- 
dence could be sufficient to shew 
that this language is not to be 
understood in its plain and literal 
(5) At the beginning of the ac- 
count Hippolytus says : "Idufxev 
ovv ttSs Karacpavws "BaaiKeidrjs 
ofiov Kal 'laidupos Kal iras 6 to6- 
Tiav xopos ovx (XTrXaJs Kara^pev- 
heraL.. . And so in fact the school 
is distinguished in the exposition 
from the founder : c. 20 tovto [a 
doctrine quoted with tprjai]... 
Xa^dvTes dTraTwaiv... So again in 
a passage evidently belonging to 
the later phase of the heresy 
(c. 26, p. 240) we have Kar^ avrovs 
and (paaKovcL preceded and fol- 

lowed by the 07?o-^, and so again 
c. 27 (p. 243). 
(e) If the forms of quotation 
y4y pairraL and ^ ypo.(f)-f} are re- 
markable as anticipatory of later 
usage, the phrase to Xeydpievov 
if Tots eua77eX^ois (John i. 9) is 
no less remarkable as a trace of 
an early mode of citation. 
The arguments which are urged on 
the other side, {e.g: Supernat. Rel. 
II. 41 ff.) appear to resolve them- 
selves into the ' foregone conclusion ' 
that Basilides could not have quoted 
the Scriptures of the New Testament. 
Nor can I admit that all 'learned 
criticism' belongs to the very able 
but very narrow School of Tubingen, 
so that a result which obtains their 
support can be said to be 'admitted.' 
^ [Hipp.] adv. H(er. Vii. 26: 77 
ypo.4>y\ XiyW ovk iu SidaKTots dv- 
dpuirivrjs aotplas X6701S dXX' iv 5i5a- 
KTOis irvevfiaTos (i Cor.ii. 13), vii. 25 : 
ws yeypaiTTOu, (prjcL' Kal rj ktIcls avri) 
(TvaTcvd^ei, k.t.X. Rom. viii. 22, 




testimonies with which he might suppose his readers to 
be familiar. 

Very Httle is known of the history of Basilides\ It 
seems that he was an Alexandrine, and probably of 
Jewish descent. He is said to have lived 'not long 
'after the times of the ApostlesV and to have been a 
younger contemporary of Cerinthus, and a follower of 
Menander who was himself the successor of Simon Ma- 
gus. Clement of Alexandria and Jerome fix the period 
of his activity in the time of Hadrian^; and .he found a 
formidable antagonist in Agrippa Castor*. All these 
circumstances combine to place him in the generation 
next after the Apostolic age, and to shew that in point 
of antiquity he holds a rank intermediate between that 
of Clement of Rome and Polycarp. 

Since Basilides lived on the verge of the Apostolic 
times it is not surprising that he made use of other 
sources of Christian doctrine besides the Canonical 
books. The belief in divine Inspiration was still fresh 
and real ; and Eusebius relates that he set up imaginary 
prophets Barcabbas and Barcoph (Parchor) — ' names to 
'strike terror into the superstitious' — by whose writings 
he supported his peculiar views ^ At th^ same time he 

^ Saturninus {ox Satornilus)oi An- 
tioch is generally placed in close con- 
nexion with Basilides. He was a 
scholar of Menander, whose opinions 
he advanced. All the accounts of 
his doctrine appear to be derived 
from one source, and they contain 
nothing which bears on the history 
of the Canon. [Hipp.] adv. Hcbt. 
VII. 28; Iren. c. Hcer. i. 24; Epiph. 
Hcer. xxni. 

2 Archel. et Man. Disp., Routh, 
Rell. Sacr. v. p. 19 7... Basilides qui- 

dam non longe post nostrorum 

Apostolorum tempora. ...Cf. ib. i. p. 

258. Euseb. H. E. iv. 7. 

^ Cf. Pearson, Vind. Ign. 11. 7, ap. 
Lardner, viii. 350. 

^ Cf. supra, p. 95. 

^ Eusebius appears to consider 
the prophecies as forgeries {H. E. iv. 
7). They may however have been 
' Oriental books which he met with 
'in his journey into the East,' as 
Lardner suggests (viii. 390). Isido- 
rus wrote a commentary on the pro- 
phecy of Parchor, which gives au- 
thority to the conjecture : Clem. Alex. 
Strom. VI. 6. 53. 

Chap. iv. 

His date. 

He made 
use 0/ other 
books besides 
those in- 
cluded in 
the Canon 
of the New 




appealed to the authority of Glaucias who as he proudly 
affirmed was * an interpreter of Peter^ ;' and he also 
made use of certain 'Traditions of Matthias' which 
claimed to be grounded on ' private intercourse with the 
' Saviourl' It appears moreover that he himself pub- 
lished a GospeP— a ' Philosophy of Christianity' as it 

^ Clem. Alex. Strom.Yll. 17. 106. 
The Catholic tradition, it will be 
remembered, gave the same title to 
St Mark. 

2 [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. vil. 20 : Ba- 
aCKd8ifj% Tolvvv koI 'laiScapos 6 Ba<rt- 
XeLdov Trots yvrjaios Kal /xadrjTTjs <f>a- 
alu elprjK^vaL MarOlau avToils Xdyovs 
airoKpv(f>ovs ovs iJKOvae irapcL tov 2w- 
TTJpos Kar'' Idlav 5i5axdeis. Miller 
corrects the manuscript reading Mar- 
diau into Mardaiov, wrongly I be- 
lieve. Cf. Clem. Alex. Strom, vii. 
17. 108. 

3 The few notices of Basilldes' 
Gospel or Commentaries afe perplex- 
ing. Origen is the first who men- 
tions a Gospel as written by him. 
Horn. i. m Luc: Ausus fuit et Ba- 
silides scribere evangelium, et suo 
illud nomine titulare. This State- 
ment is repeated by Ambrose and 
Jerome, who cannot however be con- 
sidered as independent witnesses. 
In another passage Origen has been 
supposed to allude to the Gospel of 
Basilides as identical with that of 
Marcion and Valentinus : ravra d^ 
eiprp-ai irpos Toiis dtro OvaXevrlpov Kcd 
BactXeiSou Kal Toiisdiro MapKiojpos. — 
^X^v^i- yO'p Kal avTol ras X^^ets (the 
quotations from the Old Testament 
in Luke x. 27) iv t(^ Kad' eavroijs ev- 
ayyeXlcp (Fr. 6 in Luc). The last 
clause however need not refer to any 
besides the Marcionites. 

I am not aware that there are 
any more references to the work of 
Basilides as a Gospel ; but Agrippa 
Castor mentions 'four and twenty 
' books {rkaaapa irpos rois [?] ef/coai) 
* which he composed on the Gospel ' 
(e^s TO evayy4\i,ov) (Euseb. H. E. IV. 

7); Clement of Alexandria quotes 
several passages from the twenty- 
third book {Strom, iv. 12. 83 sqq.) ; 
and another quotation from the thir- 
teenth book {tractatus) occurs at the 
end of the 'discussion between Ar- 
' chelaus and Manes ' (Routh, v. p. 
197) ; and perhaps another in Origen 
Comm. in Rom. v. i. p. 549, Haec 
Basilides non advertens de lege na- 
turali debere intelligi ad ineptas et 
impias fabulas sermonem apostoilicum 
traxit . . . ' Dixit enim * inquit ' apostolus 
* quia ego vivebam sine lege aliquando 
' (Rom. vii. 9) hoc est antequam in 
'istud Corpus venirem...' This con- 
firms the other definite references tcf 
Apostolic books in a remarkable 

There is nothing in the title incon- 
sistent with the notion that it was 
based on our Gospels: (comp. Hieron. 
de Virr. III. Legi sub nomine ejus 
(Theophilus) in Evangelium... covci- 
mentarios) though this may be 
thought unlikely on other grounds. 

The character of the quotations 
from the ^^^"qyTfTiKd shews that these 
Commentaries cannot have formed 
part of a Gospel in the common 
sense of the word, but it appears 
that Basilides attached a technical 
meaning to the term : 'Ekvayyikiov 
icrrl Kar avroiis (the followers of 
Basilides) 17 tQu virepKocfduv yvuais, 
cJs SeSiJXwrat, 171' 6 fi4yas apx^v ovk 
iiirla-Taro. [Hipp.] adv. Her. Vii. 
2 7 ; cf. 26. May we not then identify 
the Commentaries with the Gospel in 
this sense, and suppose that the 
ambiguity of the word led Origen 
into error ? 

Norton (11. p. 310) assumes that 




would perhaps be called in our days — but he admitted 
the historic truth of all the facts contained in the Canoni- 
cal Gospels^ and used them as Scripture. For in spite 
of his peculiar opinions the testimony of Basilides to our 
'acknowledged' books, as given by Hippolytus^ is com- 
prehensive and clear. In the few pages of his writings 
which remain there are certain references to the Gospels 
of St Luke, and St John, and to the Epistles of St Paul 
to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians, 
to the contents of St Matthew, and possibly also to the 
first Epistle to Timothy ^ In addition to this he appears 
to have used the first Epistle of St Peter* ; and he must 
have admitted the Petrine type of doctrine through his 
connexion with Glaucias. And thus again, apart from the 
consideration of particular books, an Alexandrine heretic 
recognised simultaneously the teaching of St Paul, St 
Peter, and St John, while Polycarp was still at Smyrna, 
and Justin Martyr only a disciple of Plato. And the 
fact itself belongs to an earlier date ; for this belief 
cannot have originated with him, and if we go back 

the Homilies on Luke are not Ori- 
gen's. In this I suppose he follows 
the rash conjecture of Erasmus. 
Huet, Orig. iii. 3. 13. Redepenning, 
Origenes, II. 69. 

1 [Hipp.] adv. Har. vil. 27 : Te- 
yeprjfihrjs dk ttjs yev^creus rijs irpode- 
57)\<afM4uTjs yiyoif€ irAvra ofioiojs Kar 
avToi)S TOL irepl rov ^corijpos ws iu 
TOiS evayyeXiois y^ypawrai. He gave 
a mystical explanation of the Incar- 
nation, quoting Luke i. 35 {id. § 26). 

2 See next note. Even if these 
are set aside there is no evidence to 
shew that Basilides 'ignored the 
* Canonical Gospels altogether.' 

3 The following examples will be 
sufficient to shew his method of quo- 
tation : 

St Luke i. 35, p. •241 {to elprifii- 
vov). Comp. Sanday, /. c. 195 ff. 

St Johni. 9, p. 232 {rb \iy. ip rois 
eirayy.) ; ii. 4, p. 242. For the plural 
see p. 112, n. 2. 

Romans viii. 22, p. 238 (ws y4ypa- 
TTTttt), p. 241; v. 13, 14, {id.). Cf. 
Orig. Comm. in Rom. c. 5. 

1 Corinthians ii. 13, p. 240 (^ 7/xt- 
0^); XV. 8, p. 241. 

2 Corinthians xii. 4, p. 241 (7^- 

Ephesians i. 21, pp. 230, 239; iii. 
3, p. 241. 
Colossians i. 26, p. 238 (Eph. iii. 


St Matthew ii. i sqq. p. 243. 

1 Tim. ii. 6, p. 232 (?) /catpoi 

* Clem. Strom. I v. 12. 83 (i Pet. 
iv. 14 — 16), quoted by Kirchhofer, 
p. 416. 

Chap. iv. 

What Ca- 
books he 



Chap. iv. 

He is said 
to have re- 
jected some 
the Canon. 


respected the 

but one generation we are within the age of the 

On the other hand Basilides is said to have antici- 
pated Marcion in the rejection of the Pastoral Epistles 
and of that to the Hebrews ; but Clement intimates 
that these books were commonly condemned by those 
who * fancied' that their opinions were characterized in 
them as ' false-named wisdom ;' and there is no reason 
to suppose that this judgment was the result of any 
historical inquiry*. Jerome speaks of it as a piece of 
arbitrary dogmatism based on 'their heretical authority/ 
and unsustained by any definite arguments. 

Isidorus the son of Basilides maintained the doctrine 
of his father ; nor need we believe that he differed from 
him in his estimation of the Apostolic writings. Some 
fragments of his works have been preserved by Clement 
of Alexandria, but I have noticed nothing in them 
bearing on the books of the New Testament. 

§ 4. Carpocrates. 

The accounts of Carpocrates are very meagre, and 
all apparently come from one source. He was an 
Alexandrine, and a contemporary of Basilides'*. No- 
thing is said directly of his views of the Apostolic 
writings ; but it is mentioned incidentally that he held 

^ Hieron. Pref. in Ep. ad Tit.: 
Nonnullas [epistolas] integras repu- 
diandas crediderunt : ad Timotheum 
videlicet utramque, ad Hebrseos, et 
ad Titum. Et si quidem redderent 
causas cur eas Apostoli non puta- 
rent, tentaremus aliquid respondere et 
forsan satisfacere lectori. Nunc vero 
cum haeretica auctoritate pronuncient 
et dicant Ilia epistola Pauli est, 
hsec non est; ea auctoritate repelli 

se pro veritate intelligant, qua ipsi 
non erubescunt falsa siniulare. 

Perhaps we may refer to this school 
the general statement of Clement, virb 
ra^/TTjs iXeyxSfJt^voi, Trjs (fxavijs (i Tim. 
vi. 20) ol diro Tuu alp^aeup rds tt/sos 
Tifiddeov adeTovcLv iTTLO-ToXd^ {Strom. 
ii. II, §52). 

2 Clem. Alex. Strom, in. 2. 5. 
Iren. c. Hcer. i. 25. 




the Apostles themselves — 'Peter and Paul and the 
'rest' — as nowise inferior to Christ HimselP. This 
opinion followed naturally from his views of the Person 
of Christ ; but the close juxtaposition of St Peter and 
St Paul is worthy of notice. 

From another passage in Irenseus it may be con- 
cluded that the Carpocratians received our Canonical 
Gospels, adapting them to their own doctrine by strange 
expositions. Thus they applied the parable of the man 
and his adversary to the relation of man to the devil, 
whose office they held it to be ' to convey the souls of 
' the dead to the Prince of the world, who in turn gave 
'them to an attendant spirit to imprison in another 
' body, till they had been engaged in every act done in 
'the world V 

The key-word of the system of Carpocrates in itself 
bore witness to the teaching of St Paul and St John 
'Men are saved,' he said, 'by faith and love^ ;' but the 
corollary which he drew from this truth on the essential 
indifference of actions seems to shew that he did not 
combine the teaching of St James with that of the other 

1 Iren. c. Har. I. 25. 2. [Hipp.] 
adv. Hcer. vii. 31. Epiphanius {Hcer. 
XXVII. ■2) says Il^rpou Kol 'Avdp^ov 
Kot UaijXov. I do not know how to 
explain the special mention of St An- 
drew. His connexion with St Peter 
affords scarcely sufficient reason. 

2 Iren. c. Jlcsr. i. 25. 4. 

^ Iren. c. Hcer. i. 25. 5: 5iA 7^^ 
(Trews ydip Kal dyaTnjs cr^^ea-dai.' rk 
5^ XotTrd ddid(f>opa 6vTa koltcl ttjv 
dd^av rQv dvdpdbirojv ttt} p.kv dyad a 
irrj bk KaKd vofii^ea-dai, oiidepbs 0i/o"et 
KaKOV virdpxovTOi. 

* The fragments of Epiphanes 
(Clem. Alex. Strom.\\\.i.^%<\<\^ the 
son of Carpocrates contain no direct 
scriptural quotations ; but the whole 
argument on justice reads like a com- 
ment on Matt. V. 45. The passage 
ii^ § 7> WH (^vvieh t6 tov diro<TT6\ov 
ptyrbv X^yovTos' did vdfxov ttjv a/jMp- 
riav ^yvojv (Rom. vii. 7), is a remark 
of Clement's, avvLeh referring to <f>'fi(Tlv 
in the former sentence. It is neces- 
sary to notice this, as the words have 
been quoted as used by Epiphanes. 
Cf. Epiph. Hcer. xxxii. 4. . " ," 

Chap. iv. 

The Carpo- 
cratians re- 
ceived our 

Matt. V. 25 ; 
Luke xii. 58. 

Their sys- 
tem com- 
bined the 
teaching of 
St Paul attd 
St John. 





§ 5. Valentinus, 

Shortly after Basilides began to propagate his doc- 
trines another system arose at Alexandria, which was 
the result of similar causes, and was moulded on a 
similar type. Its author Valentinus was like Basilides 
probably an Egyptian, and his writings betray a famili- 
arity with Jewish opinions*. After the example of the 
Christian teachers of his age he went to Rome, which 
he chose as the Centre of his labours. Iren^us relates 
that ' he came there during the episcopate of Hyginus, 
'was at his full vigour in the time of Pius, and con- 
* tinned there till the time of Anicetus^' Thus he was 
at Rome when Polycarp came on his mission from the 
Eastern Church ; and Mafcion may have been among 
his hearers. His testimony is as venerable in point of 
age as that of Justin ; and he is removed by one genera- 
tion only from the time of St John. 

Just as Basilides claimed through Glaucias the autho- 
rity of St Peter, Valentinus professed to follow the 
teaching of Theodas a disciple of St Paul'. The cir- 
cumstance is important ; for it shews that at the begin- 
ning of the second century, alike within and without the 
Church, the sanction of an Apostle was considered to be 
a sufficient proof of Christian doctrine ; and TertuUian 
says that in this he differed from Marcion, that he at 
least professed to accept 'the whole Instrument,' per- 
verting the interpretation where Marcion mutilated the 
text*. The few unquestionable fragments of Valen- 

1 Cf. Epiph. Hi2r. xxxi. 2. Mas- Alius manu scripturas, alius sensus 
suet, Diss. I. I. I. expositione intervertit. Nequeenim 

2 Iren. tr. ^^n 111.4. 3(ap. Euseb. si Valentinus integro Instrumento 
H. E. IV. 11). uti videtur, non callidiore ingenio 

3 Clem. Alex. iS*/r^z«. VII. 17. 106. quam Marcion [manus intulit veri- 
* TertuU. de Prcescr. Hceret. 38 : tati?] Marcion enim exserte et pa- 




tinus^ contain but little which points to passages of Scrip- 
ture*. If it were clear that the anonymous quotations in 
Hippolytus were derived from Valentinus himself^ the list 
would be much enlarged, and include a citation of the 
Epistle to the Ephesians as * Scripture/ and clear refer- 
ences to the Gospels of St Luke and St John, to i Corin- 
thians*, perhaps also to the Epistle to the Hebrews and 
the first Epistle of St John^ 

of the founder. I am therefore un- 
willing any longer to use an authority 
which can fairly be challenged. At 
the same time there is very much to be 
urged in favour of the opinion that 
the quotations are from Valentinus. 
In cc. 29 — 38 Hippolytus appears 
to deal with the opinions of Valen- 
tinus (tA t$ OuaXein-LP(^ doKovura) : in 
cc. 38—55 he deals with the opinions 
of the Valentinian school {ol drd t^s 
OvaXevTlvov crxoX-^s). In the first great 
division he notices divergences of in- 
terpretation which had arisen on 
points of the Master's teaching among 
later Valentinians, but always goes 
back to *he says.' In the second 
division he quotes constantly by name 
the authorities whom he uses. It 
further appears that he was ac- 
quainted with writings of Valentinus 
(c. 37 p. 198 ; c. 42 p. 203). 

I cannot but add that the whole 
system of Valentinus is unintelligible 
to me unless the Gospel of St John 
is presupposed. Can any one sup- 
pose that the Hebdomas of Valen- 
tinus vovs, aXrjdeta, \6709, fa)?J, dv- 
dpooTToSf eKKX-qaia, 6 irarrip, was earlier 

lam machsera non stylo usus est: 
quoniam ad materiam suam csedem 
scripturarum confecit. Valentinus 
autem pepercit i quoniam non ad ma- 
teriam scripturas, sed materiam ad 
scripturas excogitavit : et tamen plus 
abstulit et plus adjecit, auferens pro- 
prietates singulorum quoque verbo- 
rum et adjiciens dispositiones non 
comparentium rerum. By utividetur 
I understand that TertuUian describes 
the profession of Valentinus ; not that 
he expresses any doubt as to the fact. 
^ Very little is known of the writ- 
ings of Valentinus. Clement quotes 
Homilies and Letters; and in the 
Dialogue against Marcion a long pas- 
sage is taken from his treatise ' On 
the Origin of Evil.' 

2 Clem. Strom. 11. 20. 114. St 
Matt. V. 8; xix. 17. In the latter 
place the reading of Valentinus Was 
probably efs k(TTiv dyadbi, 6 irar'qp' 
which is also given by Clement 
Strom. V. 64 (cfs dyadb% 6 irar'ijp and 
the remarkable Latin MS. ^, which 
bears a remarkable resemblance to D. 
D itself reads simply eh iarlv dyados. 
Clem. Strom, iv: i^.gi. Rom. i. 20: 

3 In the former editions of this essay than St John's Gospel or independent 
I assigned these anonymous passages of it when compared with that of Si 

to Valentinus. If Valentinus ' heard ' 
one *who was acquainted with St 
Paul' (Clem. /. c.) internal evidence 
cannot be urged against the view. 
But a fresh and careful examination 
of the whole section of Hippolytus 
makes me feel that the evidence is so 
uncertain, that I cannot be sure in 
this case, as in the case of Basilides, 
that Hippolytus is quoting the words 

mon, povs, iirivoia, 6uofia, (fxavrj^ Xoyi- 
(T/xos, ivd{>iJt.rj(ns, 6 e(rrws, (Ttcls, arrja-o- 
fieyoi ([Hipp.] adv. Hcer. iv. 51)? 
Compare Sanday, The Fourth Gospel^ 
pp. 8 ff. 

* In vi. 35 (Rom. viii. i r) the true 
reading is, I believe, (paal and not 

^ The references are : 

St Luke i. 35 {6.yLQv is a predi- 




Chap. iv. 

B'itt he is 
said to have 
i?t traduced 
verbal alter- 

But though no charge is brought against Valentinus 
of mutilating the Canon or the books of the New Testa- 
ment, he is said to have introduced verbal alterations, 
'corr«ecting without hesitation' as well as * introducing 
'new explanations V And his followers acted with 
greater boldness, if the words of Origen are to be taken 
strictly, in which he says that ' he knows none other who 
' have altered the form {jierayapa^avTai) of the Gospel 
' besides the followers of Marcion, of Valentinus, and, as 
'he believes, of Lucanus^' However this may be, the 
whole question belongs rather to the history of the text 
than to the history of the Canon ; and the statement of 
Tertullian is fully satisfied by supposing that Valentinus 
employed a different recension from that of the Vetus 
Latina, But it is of consequence to remark that textual 
differences even in heretical writings attracted the notice 
of the early Fathers ; and is it then possible that they 
would have neglected to notice graver differences as to 
the authority or reception of books of the New Testa- 
ment if they had really existed ? Their very silence is 
a proof of the general agreement of Christians on the 
Canon ; a proof which gains irresistible strength when 

cate); [Hipp,] adv. Har. Vl. 35 {rh 

St John X. 8 ; ib. VI. 35. 

I Corinth, ii. 14; ib. VI. 34. xv. 8 ; 
cf. ib. 31. 

Ephes. iii. 5 ; ib.Yl. 35. iii. 14 — 18; 

i^' 34 kn ypa(pv)- 

Hebr. xii. 22 ; cf. ib. vi. 30. 

I John iv. 8; cf. ib. vi. 29. 

In an obscure passage (Clem. Strom. 
VI. 6. 52) Valentinus contrasts 'what 
'is written in popular books (rats 
' d7]/jLO(rlois /St'jSXois) with that which 
' is written in the Church ' (tA yeyp. 
iv rrj iKK\.). By 'popular books' 
Clement understands ' either the 
'Jewish or Gentile writings.' The 

antithesis seems to involve the idea 
of an ecclesiastical Canon. 

1 Tertull. de PrcBscr. Hceret. 30: 
Item Valentinus aliter exponens, et 
sine dubio emendans, hoc omnino 
quicquid emendat ut mendosum re- 
tro anterius fuisse demonstrat. The 
connexion of the passage requires the 
reading anterius for alterius. Cf. 
p. 298, note 4. 

2 Orig. c. Cels. 11. 27. I have 
already given an explanation of the 
passage in which Origen has been 
supposed to connect the Gospel of 
Marcion with that of Valentinus; 
p. 294, n. 3. 




combined with the natural testimony of heretical writ- 
ings, and the partial exceptions by which it is occasion- 
ally limited. 

The Valentinians however are said to have composed 
a new Gospel : ' casting aside all fear, and bringing for- 

* ward their own compositions, they boast that they have 

* more Gospels than there really are. For they have 

* advanced to such a pitch of daring as to entitle a book 
' which was composed by them not long since the Gospel 
^ of Truth, though it accords in no respect with the 

* Gospels of the Apostles ; so that the Gospel in fact 
'cannot exist among them without blasphemy. For if 
' that which they bring forward is the Gospel of Truth, 
'and still is unlike those which are delivered to us by 
' the Apostles — they who please can learn how from the 

* writings themselves — it is shewn at once that that which 
' is delivered to us by the Apostles is not the Gospel 
' of Truth \' What then was this Gospel ? If it had 
been a history of our Blessed Lord, and yet wholly at 
variance with the Canonical Gospels, it is evident that 
the Valentinians could not have received these— nor in- 
deed any one of them — as they undoubtedly did. And 
here then a new light is thrown upon the character of 
some of the early Apocryphal Gospels, which has been 
in part anticipated by what was said of the Gospel of 
Basilides^ The Gospels of Basilides and Valentinus 
contained their systems of Christian doctrine, their views 
of 'the Gosper philosophically and not historically ^ 

^ Iren. c. Hcer. iii» 11. 9. In the 
last clause I have adopted the punc- 
tuation proposed by Mr Norton (ii. 
305). The common reading gives 
the same sense. 

I believe that no mention of this 
Gospel occurs elsewhere, except in 
[Tert.] de Prcsscr. Hceret. c. 49. But 

I can see no reason for doubting the 
correctness of Irenaeus' statement. 
The book may have been brought 
prominently under his notice with- 
out having had any permanent au- 
thority among the Valentinians. 

2 Cf. p. 294, n. 3. 

2 This common use of the word 

Chap. iv. 

and to have 
used another 




Chap. iv. 

An explana- 
tion of this 

Other Gnos' 
tic Gospels. 

The Gospel 
of Truth is 
the Volenti- 
nians differ- 

The writers of these new Gospels in no way necessarily- 
interfered with the old. They sought, as far as we can 
learn, to embody their spirit and furnish a key to their 
meaning, rather than to supersede their use. The Valen- 
tinians had more Gospels than the Catholic Church, since 
they accepted an authoritative doctrinal Gospel. 

The titles of some of the other Gnostic Gospels 
confirm what has been said. Two are mentioned by 
Epiphanius in the account of those whom he calls 

* Gnostics,' as if that were their specific name, the 
Gospel of Eve and the Gospel of Perfection. Neither of 
these could be historic accounts of the Life of Christ, 
and the slight description of their character which he 
adds illustrates the wide use of the word * Gospel.' The 
first was an elementary account of Gnosticism, * based on 
'foolish visions and testimonies, called by the name of 
' Eve, as though it had been revealed to her by the 
' serpent \' The second was a ' seductive composition, no 

* Gospel, but a consummation of woe^' 

The analogy of the title of this Gospel of Perfection 
leaves little doubt as to the character of the Gospel of 
Truth. Puritan theology can furnish numerous similar 

occurs in Rev. xiv. 6, which passage 
I has given rise in our own days to 
the strangest and ' most widespread 
Apocryphal ' Gospel ' — that of the 
Mormonites — which the world has 
yet seen. 

The 'Gospel of Marcion' may seem 
an exception, but it will be remem- 
bered that he called it the Gospel of 
Christ — Christianity, in other words, 
as seen in the life of Christ. Our 
Canonical Gospels recognise the hu- 
man teacher by whom it is conveyed 
to us : evayyiXiov XpiaTov Kara Mar- 

1 Epiph. HcBr. xxvi. 2 : els 6pofia 
yhp avT^s [EiJas] Srjdev ws evpoijarjs 
TO tvofxa rrjs yvdiceuis i^ dtroKokO- 

\p,eo}% rod XaXrjffavTOS aur^ 6<peo}S cttto- 
php vTOTldevTc.opiJ.uvTai 8^ diro /xu- 
pQu fiapTvpiQu KO-l dTTTaffiuu . . . 

In the next section Epiphanius 
(quotes a passage from it containing 
a clear enunciation of Pantheism 
which is of great interest. 

^ Epiph. /. c. : eTriirXaaTov eiad' 
yovaiv dyioyijuLov ti iroirjfxa, <P Troirj- 
T€}jfiaTL iTriOevTO opofia, evayyiXiou 
TeXetwaecos toOto (pdaKovres' koL oXtj- 
dus ovK evayyiXiov tovto dXXd iriv- 
60VS reXeiojais. 

Mr Norton has insisted very justly 
on the fact that the Apocryphal Gos- 
pels were speculative or mystical 
treatises and not records of the Life 
of Christ; ii. pp. 302 ff. 




titles. And the partial currency of such a book among 
the Valentinians offers not the slightest presumption 
against their agreement with Catholic Christians on the 
exclusive claims of the four Gospels to be the records of 
Christ's life. These they took as the basis of their 
speculations ; and by the help of Commentaries endea- 
voured to extract from them the principles which they 
maintained. But this will form the subject of the next 

§ 6. Heracleon. 

The history of Heracleon the great Valentinian 
commentator is full of uncertainty. Nothing is known 
of his country or parentage. Hippolytus classes him 
with Ptolemseus as belonging to the Italian school of 
Valentinians^; and we may conclude from this that he 
chose the West as the scene of his labours. Clement 
describes him as the most esteemed of his sect^ and 
Origen says that 'he was reported to have been a 
'familiar friend of Valentinus^' If we assume this 
statement to be true, his writings cannot well date later 
than the first half of the second century*; and. he claims 
the title of the first commentator on the New Testa- 

^ [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. VI. 35 : koL 
yiyovev evrevdev 77 didacKoXla avTiSv 
SLTjprj/jLivri, Kal AcaXeirat •^ fi^v dvaro- 
\i.Kr) Tis 5i5a(T/caX/a Kar avroiis tj 8^ 
'IraKiWTiKr}. 01 [xh diro rrjs 'Ira- 
Xfas, uu earlv "HpaKXiuv Kal IlroXe- 
fiaios (pafflv, K.T.X. Clement of Alex- 
andria made iirirofial iK tup Qeodo- 
Tov Kal TTJs dvaToXiKTJs KaXov- 
fi4pr}s diSaaKaXlas. 

2 Clem. Alex. Shvm. IV. 9. 73 : d 
T^s OvaXevrlvov axo^V^ doKifiwraTos. 

^ Comm. in Joan. Tom. 11. § 8. 

^ Epiphanius indeed speaks of him 
as later than Marcus {Hcer. xxxvi. 
2). The exact chronology of the 
early heretics is very uncertain. In 
fact at least all those with Whom we 
have to do at present must have been 
contemporaries. It is surprising that 
Irenseus mentions Heracleon only 
once in passing (ii. 4. i) since he 
was closely associated with Ptole- 
mseus against whom the work of 
Irenseus wa,s specially directed. 

Chap. iv. 

other Chris- 
tiafis as to 
the extent of 
the Canon, 

The history 
(2/" Heracleon 




Chap. iv. 

His Com- 
mentaries o-j 
the Gospels. 

The allu- 
sions which 
t/iey contain 
to the writ- 
ings of the 
New Testa- 

The doctrine 
of Inspirw 
tion which 
they imply. 

There is no evidence to determine how far the Com- 
mentaries of Heracleon extended. Fragments of his 
comments on the Gospels of St Luke and St John have 
been preserved by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. 
And the very existence of these fragments shews clearly 
the precarioLisness of our information on early Christian 
literature. Origen quotes his comments on St John 
repeatedly, but gives no hint that Heracleon had written 
anything else. Clement refers to his interpretation of a 
passage of St Luke and is silent as to the Commentary 
on St John*. Hippolytus makes no mention of either. 

The fragments contain allusions to the Gospel of St 
Matthew, to the Epistles of St Paul to the Romans and 
the first to the Corinthians, and to the second Epistle to 
Timothy^; but the character of the comments themselves 
is the most striking testimony to the estimation in which 
the Apostolic writings were held. The sense of the 
Inspiration of the Evangelists — of some providential 
guidance by which they were led to select each fact in 
their history and each word in their narrative — is not 
more complete in Origen. The first Commentary on 
the New Testament exhibits the application of the same 
laws to its interpretation as were employed in the Old 
Testament. The slightest variation of language was 

^ Clem. Alex. Strom. I v. 9. 73 sq. 
TovTov ^^Tiyovfievos tov tottov (i.e. 
Lukexii. iif.). Clement is a perfectly 
competent witness to the fact that 
Heracleon did comment on this pas- 
sage of St Luke; but it cannot be 
certainly deduced from his words 
that Heracleon wrote a continuous 
Commentary on the Gospel. This 
is indeed unlikely. The second pas- 
sage is commonly referred to his 
Commentary on St Luke (ap. Clem. 
Alex. Frag. Eclog. Proph. § 25) : 
yioi II ws (ptiOLv 'HpaKXiuv vvpl to. 

wra TUP (r<ppayi^ofJiJpu}v KaTeaTjfii^- 
vavTO ovTUi dKo6&avT€s ro diroaToKi- 
Kov. Cf. Iren. c. Hcer. i. 25. 6. The 
reference is to the * baptism with fire ' 
(Luke iii. 16). 

2 The references are : 

St Matthew viii. 12 ; Orig. in yoan. 
Tom. xni. § 59. 

Romans xii. i ; Orig. id. § 25. i. 
25 ; id. § 19. 

1 Corinthians, Orig. id. § 59. 

2 Timothy ii. 13; Clem. Alex. 
Strom. IV. /. c. 




held to be significant \ Numbers were supposed to 
conceal hidden truths. The whole record was found to 
be pregnant with spiritual meaning, conveyed by the 
teaching of events in themselves real and instructive. 
It appears also that differences between the Gospels 
were felt, and an attempt made to reconcile them I 
And it must be noticed that authoritative spiritual 
teaching was not limited to our Lord's own words, but 
the remarks of the Evangelist also were received as 
possessing an inherent weight^ 

The introduction of Commentaries implies the 
strongest belief in the authenticity and authority of the 
New Testament Scriptures ; and this belief becomes 
more important when we notice the source from which 
they were derived. They took their rise among heretics, 
and not among Catholic Christians. Just as the earliest 
Fathers applied themselves to the Old Testament to 
bring out its real harmony with the Gospel, so heretics 
endeavoured to reconcile the Gospel with their own 
systems. Commentaries were made where the want for 
them was pressing. But unless the Gospels had been 
generally accepted the need for such works would not 
have been felt. Heracleon was forced to turn and 

^ I cannot help quoting one criti- 
cism which seems to me far truer in 
principle than much which is com- 
monly written on the prepositions of 
the New Testament. Writing on 
Luke xii. 8 he remarks : ' With good 

* reason Christ says of those who con- 
' fess Him in me {ofioX. iv ifxoi), but 

* of those who deny Him me {api>. fie) 
'only. P"or these even if they con- 

* fess Him with their voice deny Him, 

* since they confess Him not in their 
'action. But they alone make con- 
' fession in- Him who live in the con- 

* fession and action that accords with 

* Him: m whom also He makes con- 


'fession, having Himself embraced 
' them, and being held fast by them ' 
(Clem, Alex. Strom, iv. /. c). 

2 Orig. in Joan. X. § 21 : 6 fxivroL 
ye ^UpaKKiuv ro iv rpiai (pijaiv 
dirrlToO kv TjO £r 77... ( John ii. 19). 

3 A collection of the fragments of 
Heracleon is published {after Mas- 
suet) at the end of Stieren's edition 
of Irenseus ; but much still is wanting 
to make the collection complete. His 
Commentary on the fourth chapter 
of St John will illustrate most of the 
statements in the text. Orig. in 
Joan. Tom. xiii. § 10 sqq. 




Chap. iv. 

quoted also 
the Preach- 
ing of Peter. 

The position 



modify much that he found in St John, which he would 
not have done if the book had not been received beyond 
all doubt\ And his evidence is the more valuable, 
because it appears that he had studied the history of 
the Apostles, and spoke of their lives with certainty^ 

In addition to the books of the New Testament 
Heracleon quoted the Preaching of Peter, In this he 
did no more than Clement of Alexandria and Gregory 
of Nazianzus ; and Origen when he mentions the quo- 
tation does not venture to pronounce absolutely on the 
character of the book'. It is quite possible that it 
contained many genuine fragments of the Apostle's 
teaching ; and the fact that it was used for illustration * 
affords no proof that it was placed on the same footing 
as the Canonical Scriptures. 

§ 7. PtoletncBus, 

Ptolemaeus, like Heracleon, was a disciple of Valen- 
tinus, and is classed with him in the Italian as dis- 
tinguished from the Eastern SchooP. Irenaeus in his 
great work specially proposed to refute the errors of 
his followers ; and it appears that he reduced the 

^ Thus to John i. 3 ou5^ tv he 
added tcoj' ev t^J Kbafxi^ koL t^ Kxiffei 
(Orig. in Joan. 11. § 8). He argued 
that John i. 18 contained the words 
of the Baptist, and not of the Evan- 
gehst (Orig. in Joan. Tom. vi. § 2); 
and in like manner he supposed that 
the words of Ps. Ixix. 9 as used in 
John ii. 17 were applied not to our 
Lord but to ' the powers which He 
' had ejected ' (Orig. in Joan. x. 19). 
These forced interpretations were 
made from doctrinal motives, and in 
themselves sufficiently prove that St 
John's Gospel was no Gnostic work. 

2 Clem. Alex. Strom, iv. /. c: ov 

ykp irdvTes ol crcj^dfievoi u)fi6\6y7}(Tav 
TT]v 5td T^s (puv^s ofioXoyiav Kal i^' 
rjXdov' i^ Jju MardaTos, ^iXiTwos, 
Qwfias, Aevti (i. e. TAaddeus), Kal 
dXXoi TToWoi. 

^ Couim. in Joan. Tom. XIII. § 17. 
Cf. App. B. 

^ The quotation which Heracleon 
made was in illustration of our Lord's 
teaching on the true worship, John 
iv. 11. The passage in question is 
given by Clement, Strom, vi. 5.40, 41. 

^ [Hipp.] aa'z^. //.^-r. VI. 35. Ter- 
tullian \adv. Val. 4] places Ptole- 
maeus before Heracleon. 




Valentinian system to order and consistency, and pre- 
sented it under its most attractive aspect. 

Epiphanius has preserved an important letter which 
Ptolemaeus addressed to an * honourable sister Flora/ in 
which he maintains the composite and imperfect cha- 
racter of the Law. In proof of this doctrine he quoted 
words of our Lord recorded by St Matthew, the pro- 
logue to St John's Gospel, and passages from St Paul's 
Epistles to the Romans, the first to the Corinthians, and 
that to the Ephesians^ He appealed, it is true, to an 
esoteric rule of interpretation, but there is nothing to 
"shew that he added to or subtracted from the Christian 
Scriptures. * You will learn,' he says, ' by the gift of 
' God in due course the origin and generation [of evil], 
' when you are deemed worthy of the Apostolic tradition, 
' which we also have received by due succession, while 
'at the same time you measure all our statements by 
* the teaching of the Saviour ^' 

Many other fragments of the teaching if not of the 
books of Ptolemaeus have been preserved by Irenaeus^ ; 
and though they are full of forced explanations of 
Scripture, they recognise even in their wildest theories 
the importance of every detail of narrative or doctrine. 
He found support for his doctrine in the Parables, the 
Miracles, and the facts of our Lord's life, as well as in 
the teaching of the Apostles. In the course of the 
exposition of his system quotations occur from the 
four Gospels, and from the Epistles of St Paul to the 

1 Epiph. HcBr. xxxiii. 3 sqq. 

2 Epiph. Hcer, XXXiii. 7: ^aQy\(xei 
yap 6eov didovTos i^ijs Kal ttjv tovtov 
dpxy'iv re Kal y^vvT]<nv, d^Lovixivt) ttjs 
aTTocrroXt/CT^s Trapaoojecos rjv e/c otaSo- 
XT7S KoL TfixeTs TrapeLXrftpafiev, /merd Kal 
Tou Kavovlaai Travras roi)s Xoyovs ry 
Tov cridTTJpos 8ida<XKa\iq.. 

^ Iren. c. Hcer. I. i sqq. After 
the exposition of the Valentinian sys- 
tem is completed (i. 8. 5), the Latin 
Version adds : et Ftokmceus quidem 
ita. There is however nothing to 
correspond to these words in the 

X 2 

Chap. iv. 

His Letter to 

of his teach- 
ing preserv- 
ed by Ire- 




Romans, the first to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, 
Ephesians, and Colossians\ Two statements however 
which he makes are at variance with the Gospels : that 
our Lord's ministry was completed in a year ; and that 
He continued for eighteen months with His disciples 
after His Resurrection. The first, which has' found 
advocates in modern times ^ is remarkable because it 
is chiefly opposed to St John's Gospel, on which the 
Valentinians rested with most assurance : the second 
was held by Ptolemseus in common with the Ophites'. 

§ 8. The Marcosiatis. 

One sect of the Valentinians was distinguished by 
the use of Apocryphal writings. ' The Marcosians/ 
Irenaeus writes, * introduce with subtlety an unspeakable 
< multitude of Apocryphal and spurious writings (7/oa- 
' (pai), which they themselves forged, to confound the 
' foolish, and those who know not the Scriptures {ypd/ju- 
' /jLaTo) of truth^' In the absence of further evidence it 
is impossible to pronounce exactly on the character of 
these books : it is sufficient to know that they did not 
supplant the Canonical Scriptures. At the same time 

^ The following references may be 

Matthew V. i8 (Iren. i. 3. 2); ix. 
20 (I. 3- 3); X. 34 (i. 3. 5); xiii. 33 
(i. 8. 3) ; XX. I (i. 3. i) ; xxvii. 46 
and xxvi. 38(1. 8. 2). 

Mark v. 31 (i. 3. 3) ; x. 21 (i. 3. 5). 

Luke ii. 42 (i. 3. 2); iii. 17 (i. 3. 
5); vi. 13 (I. 3. 2); viii. 41 (I. 8.2); 
ix. 57 sqq. and xix. 5 (i. 8. 3). 

Joiin xii. 27 (var. lect. I. 8. 2); 
i. I sqq. (l. 8. 5). 

Romans xi. 16 (i. 8. 3); xi. 36 
(I. 3. 4). 

I Corinthians i. 18 (l. 3. 5); xi. 10 
and XV. 8 (i. 8. 2); xv. 48 (l. 8. 3). 

Galatians vi. 14 (i. 3. 5). 

Ephesians i. 10 (i. 3. 4); iii. 21 
(1.3. I); V. 13 (I. 8. 5); V. 32 (I. 8.4). 

Colossians i. 16 (i. 4. 5); ii. 9 and 
iii. II (I. 3.4). 

2 In particular this opinion has 
been supported with very forcible 
arguments by Canon Browne, Ordo 
ScEclorum^ pp. 80 ff. 

^ Iren. c. Hcer. i. 3. 2, 3; cf. I. 3c. 

^ Iren. c. Har. i. 20. 21. Among 
these was a Gospel of the Infancy, 
containing a similar story to that in 
the Gospel of Thomas, c. 6. 




their appearance in this connexion is not without im- 
portance. Marcus the founder of the sect was probably 
a native of Syria ^ ; and it is well known that Syria was 
fertile in those religious tales which are raised to too 
great importance by being named Gospels. 

But whatever these Apocryphal writings may have 
been, the words of Irenaeus shew that they were easily 
distinguishable from Holy Scripture; and the Marco- 
sians themselves bear witness to the familiar use of 
our Gospels. The formularies which Marcus instituted 
contain references to the Gospel of St Matthew, and 
perhaps to the Epistle to the Ephesiansl The teach- 
ing of his followers offers coincidences with all four 
Gospels. These Gospel-quotations present remarkable 
various readings, but there is no reason to suppose that 
they were borrowed from any other source than the 
Canonical books. Irenaeus evidently considered that 
they were taken thence ; and while he accuses the 
Marcosians of ' adapting' certain passages of the Gos- 
pels to their views, the connexion shews that they 
tampered with the interpretation and not with the 

1 This may be deduced from his 
use of Aramaic liturgical forms. 
Iren. c. Hcsr. i. 21. 3. 

2 Iren. c. Har. i. 13. 3 (Matt, 
xviii. 10); I. 13, -2 (Eph. iii. 16, ttXt/- 
pibaai (xov rhv ^cro) avdpuirov), 

3 The various readings are of con- 
siderable interest when taken in con- 
nexion with those of the Gospel- 
quotations of Justin. They are ex- 
actly of such a character as might 
arise from careless copying or quo- 
tation. In some respects also they 
are supported by other authority. 
I have given the passages at length 
(with the variations from the Gospels) 
that they may be compared with 
Justin (Iren. c. Hcer. i. 20. 2 sqq.). 

Matt. xi. 25 sqq.: I^OjCioXovi^o'o- 
11.0.1 {-ov/xai. So Int. Lat.) (tol Ud- 
rep Kijpie tCov ovpavwv [rod oipa- 
vov) Kal TTjs yijs, on dTr4Kpv\pas 
{^Kpv\l/as Taura. So Int. Lat.) dirb 
crocpCov Kai <TvveTU)v Kal direKd- 
\v\f/as avrd vqirlois. Ova (val) 6 
IlaTTjp fjLov (om.), OTi ^p.TrpQ(xdiv <rov 
evdoKia /xoi iy^uero [ovtus iy. eu. 
^p.irp. <Tov. Ita Pater mens, quoniam 
in conspectu tuo placitum factum est. 
Int. Lat.). Hdvra p.0L irapedddr) 
virh Tov IlarpSs /JLoV Kal ovSels 
iypu) rbv liaT^pa el /xt] 6 Tl6s, Kal 
TOV Tibp el fii] 6 HarTjp Kal (^ ajf 6 
Ttos dTroKa\TL>\f/7). For the last clause 
see p. 136, note i. 

Matt. xi. 28, 29: d€VT€...v_ua5' 




Chap. iv. 

and the 
teachitis^ of 
St Paid. 

How far 
they recog- 
nised other 
parts of the 
New Testa- 

Besides quoting the Gospels the Marcosians referred 
generally to St Paul in support of their peculiar 
opinions. * They said that Paul in express terms had 
'frequently indicated the redemption in Christ Jesus; 
'and that this was that doctrine which was variously 
'and incongruously delivered by themV 

The coincidences with the other parts of the New 
Testament are less certain. An allusion to the Deluge 
bears a marked similarity to the passage in the first 
Epistle of St Peter^; and among the titles of our Lord 

Kal ix&deTe Sltt ifioO rhv r^s &\ri- 
deias Tiar^pa KarrjyyeXK^vai. o yap 
ovK ydeicray, (pTjai, tovto aurols iiir^- 
(xx^TO diSd^CLv. The last words shew 
that rbf — Kartjyy^XKivaL formed no 
part of the quotation, which agrees 
verbally with St Matthew, omitting 
one clause. 

Mark x. i8; Matt. xix. 16 : ri /te 
X^7ets ayadbv (Mk.) ; els iarlv 
ay ad 6s (Mt.), 6 IlaTTjp iv toTs 
ovpavoh. Cf. p. 156. The pas- 
sage is referred to by Ptolemseus 
thus (Epiph. Hcer. xxxiiii 7) : ha 
yap jxdpov eluac ayadov Qtov tov iav- 
Tov traripa 6 aurrjp riixi2v dire(prii/aTO. 
See Cod. D, Mark x. 18. 

Matt. xxi. 23: iv irolq. dvvdfiei 
{i^ovaiq.) tovto (TaOra) iroieis; 

Mark x. 38: dOvaade to jSa- 
TTTiafxa ^airTiadrjvaL 6 iyio /xiWu 
^aiTTi^eadai {^airTi^ofiai) ; MAXw 
/SttTrr. answers to Matt. xx. 22, fiiXKu 
irivetv. Cf. p. 156. 

Luke ii. 49 : ovk o?5are (so D, al., 
Tert. : ydeiTe) oti iv rots tov ira- 
Tp6s fiov del fie elvai; 

Luke xii. 50: Kal dWo (om. both 
words) ^dirTKrfia {+ 5^) ^x^ /3a- 
XTiadijvai,, Kal irdvv iireiyofxai. els 
avrd (ttcos cvvix'^P-^'- ^^s otov TtKe- 
adfj). This change is a good instance 
of an interpretative gloss. 

Luke xix. 42: et ^7>'ws kuI cri) 
a-qfiepov {iv Ty ijfiipg. Ta&rrj) to. vpbs 
elp'Tjvijv' iKptJ^T} di {vvv 8i iKp. 

aTo d^BaXfifSv) <rov. 

John XX. 24. Cf. Iren. I. 18. 3. 

One passage causes me some per- 
plexity. It stands thus in Iren. I. 
20. 2 : iv T({j eipr)Kivat IloXXd/cij CTre- 
dv/j.T]cra aKOvaai iva tuv \6y(av tov- 
T(x3V Kal OVK ^axov TOV ipoOvTa, ipt.- 
(palvovTos (paaiv etvai 8id tov ivbs 
TOV dXrjduis ^va deov 6v ovk iyvuKei- 
aav. The Latin Version offers no 
various reading. Stieren supposes 
that the words are taken from an 
Apocryphal Gospel; but that is con- 
trary to what Irenaeus says. May 
we not change iiredvpL-qira into ive- 
dvfMTjaav, and refer to Matt. xiii. 17? 
This emendation gives iyviCKeKrav a 
natural antecedent, and improves, 
unless I am mistaken, the connexion 
of the passage. [Dr Abbot points 
out that Mr Norton made the same 
emendation, reading also iroWol Kal 
for TToXXd/ciy, and did tov ipoOv- 
Tas for did tov iv6s {Authorship of 
the Fourth Gospel, p. 96).] 

^ Iren. c. Hccr. i. 21. 3. The 
phrase occurs in the Epistle of St 
Paul to the Romans (iii. 24), Ephe- 
sians (i. 7), and Colossians (i. 14). 
The words of the Marcosians may 
consequently be taken as a testimony 
to these Epistles. 

2 Iren. c. Hcer. i. 18. 3; i Peter 
iii. 20. The recurrence of the same 
word dieffcodrjaav makes the similar- 
ity more worthy of notice. 




occurs Alpha and Omega, which they would appear to 
have borrowed from the Apocalypse \ Apart from this 
special coincidence, the whole reasoning of the Marco- 
sians shews a clear resemblance to the characteristic 
symbolism of the Apocalypse, which is distinguished by 
the sanction that it gives to a belief in the deep mean- 
ing of letters and numbers. And this belief, though 
carried to an extravagant extent, lies at the bottom of 
the Marcosian speculations. The principle of interpreta- 
tion is one which I cannot attempt to discuss, but it is 
again a matter of interest to trace the general agreement 
between the contents of the Canon and the bases on 
which heretical sects professed to build their systems. 
If we suppose that the ' acknowledged' books of the New 
Testament were in universal circulation and esteem, we 
find in them an adequate explanation of the manifold 
developments of heresy. In whatever direction the de- 
velopment extended, it can be traced to some starting 
point in the Apostolic writings ^ 

1 Iren. c. Hcer. I. 14. 6; 15. i. 

The allusion would be certain beyond 
doubt if hia. tovto (prjaiu avTov a Kal 
(1) could be translated, as Stieren 
translates it,.. apse se dicit A et 0. 
It is evident from the next sentence 
that ^T/criv imphes a quotation. Must 
we not read a.vrb'i, ' on this account 
(he says) he is...'? (Mr Hort has 
pointed out to me that the full 
phrase occurs in [Hipp.] adv. Hcer. 
VI. 49 : Kai hih. tovto 5^ (paaiu avTov 
\iyeiv 'Eyw to a,\(pa Kal to w, k.t.X.) 

2 At the end of the works of 
Clement of Alexandria is usually 
published a series of fragments en- 
titled S/iort Notes from the writings 
of Theodotus and the so-called East- 
ern School at the time of Valentinus 
{iK T(j}v QeodoTov Kal ttjs dvaroXi/f^s 
dida<rKa\ias /carot roi>s OvaXevTipou 
■Xfibvovi iiriTOfiai). The meaning of 

the phrase Eastern School has been 
explained already (cf. pp. 303, 306) ; 
and the testimony of these fragments 
may be considered as supplementary 
to that which has been obtained 
from the Valentinians of the West. 
But as I am not now able to enter 
on the discussion of the authorship 
and date of the fragments, it will 
be enough to give a general sum- 
mary of the books of the New Tes- 
tament to which they contain allu- 
sions. They are these : the Four 
Gospels ; the Epistles of St Paul to 
the Romans, i Corinthians, Ephe- 
sians, Galatians, Philippians, Colos- 
sians, i Timothy; the First Epistle 
of St Peter. 

Epiphanius in his article on Theo- 
dotus of Byzantium, who is com- 
monly identified with the Clemen- 
tine Theodotus, represents him [Hcer. 




Chap. Iv. 

The first 
knozvn Ca- 
noft that of 


The peculiar 
position of 

§ 9. Marcion. 

Hitherto the testimony of heretical writers to the 
New Testament has been confined to the recognition of 
detached parts by casual quotations or characteristic 
types of doctrine. Marcion on the contrary fixed a 
definite collection of Apostolic books as the foundation 
of his system. The Canon thus published is the first of 
which there is any record ; and like the first Commen- 
tary and the first express recognition of the equality of 
the Old and New Testament Scriptures, it comes from 
without the Catholic Church, and not from within it*. 

The position which Marcion occupies in the history 
of Christianity is in every way most striking. Himself 
the son of a Bishop of Sinope, it is said that he aspired 
to gain the 'first place' in the Church of Romel And 
though his father and the Roman presbyters refused 
him communion, he gained so many followers that in 
the time of Epiphanius they were spread throughout the 
worlds While other heretics proposed to extend or 
complete the Gospel, he claimed only to reproduce in 
its original simplicity the Gospel of St Paul ^ But his 

Liv.) as using the Gospels of St 
Matthew, St Luke, and St John; 
the Acts of the Apostles ; the First 
Epistle to Timothy. 

The passages are given at length 
by Kirchhofer, § 403 ff. 

1 It is a very significant fact that 
the first quotation of a book of the 
New Testament as Scripture, the 
first Commentary on an Apostolic 
writing, and the first known Canon 
of the New Testament, come from 
heretical authors. It is impossible 
to suppose that in these respects 
they suggested the Catholic view 
of the whole Bible instead of follow- 
ing it. 

2 Epiph. H(sr. XLii. i. What 
the Trpoedpla was is uncertain. Pro- 
bably it implies only admission into 
the college of irpea^vTepoi. Cf. Bing- 
ham, Orig. Ecdes. i. p. a66. Mas- 
suet, de Gnostic, reb. § 135. 

^ Epiph. /. c. (Rome, Italy, Egypt, 
Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Cyprus, the 
Thebaid, and even Persia. The 
omission of Asia Minor is worthy of 

^ Tert. adv. Marc. I. 20: Aiunt 
Marcionem non tam innovasse re- 
gulam separatione Legis et Evan- 
gelii quam retro adulteratam recu- 




personal influence was great and lasting. He impressed 
his own character on his teaching, where others only 
lent their names to abstract systems of doctrine. If 
Polycarp called him 'the first-born of Satan,' we may 
believe that the title signalised his special energy ; and 
the fact that he sought the recognition of a Catholic 
bishop shews the position which he claimed to fill. 

The time of Marcion's arrival at Rome^ cannot be 
fixed with certainty. Justin Martyr speaks of him as 
'still teaching' when he wrote his first Apology, and 
from the wide spread of his doctrine then it is evident 
that some interval had elapsed since he had separated 
from the Church ^ Consistently with this Epiphanius 
places that event shortly after the death of Hyginus; 
and Tertullian states it as an acknowledged fact that 
Marcion taught in the reign of Antoninus Pius, but with 
a note to the effect that he had taken no pains to inquire 
in what year he began to spread his heresy ^ This 
approximate date however is sufficient to give an ac- 
curate notion of the historical place which he occupied. 
As the contemporary of Justin he united the age of Ig- 
natius with that of Irenseus. He witnessed the consoli- 
dation of the Catholic Church ; and his heresy was the 
final struggle of one element of Christianity against 
the whole truth. It was in fact the formal counterpart 
of Ebionism, naturally later in time than that, but no 
less naturally the result of a partial view of Apostolic 

1 Petavius has discussed his date, 
Animadv. in Epiph. Hcer. XLVI. (p. 
83) ; and Massnet much more fully 
2i.n6.Q\z.ct\y,de Gnostic, reb. § 136. Cf. 
Volkmar, Theol. Jahrb. 1855, p. 2 7of. 

2 Just. Mart. Ap. i. 26. 

3 Tert. adv. Marc. i. 19 : Quoto 
quidem anno Antonini Majoris de 

Ponto suo exhalaverit aura canicu- 
laris non curavi investigare ; de quo 
tamen constat, Antonianus haereticus 
est, sub Pio impius. 

■* Marcion is commonly described 
as the scholar and successor of Cei^- 
do. But it is impossible to deter- 
mine how far Cerdo's views on the 




Chap. iv. 

The contents 
of his Canon, 

The text of 
the Epistles. 

The text of 
the Gospel. 

Marcion professed to have introduced no innovation 
of doctrine, but merely to have restored that which had 
been corrupted. St Paul only, according to him, was 
the true Apostle ; and Pauline writings alone were 
admitted into his Canon. This was divided into two 
parts, ' The Gospel ' and ' The Apostolicon \' The 
Gospel was a recension of St Luke with numerous 
omissions and variations from the received text^ The 
Apostolicon contained ten Epistles of St Paul, excluding 
the Pastoral Epistles and that to the Hebrews^. 

Tertullian and Epiphanius agree in affirming that 
Marcion altered the text of the books which he received 
to suit his own views ; and they quote many various 
readings in support of the assertion. Those which they 
cite from the Epistles are certainly insufficient to pirove 
the point ; and on the contrary they go far to shew that 
Marcion preserved without alteration the text which he 
found in his Manuscript. Of the seven readings noticed 
by Epiphanius, only two are unsupported by other 
authority ; and it is altogether unlikely that Marcion 
changed other passages, when, as Epiphanius himself 
shews, he left untouched those which are most directly 
opposed to his system. 

With the Gospel the case was different. The in- 
fluence of oral tradition upon the form and use of the 
written Gospels was of long continuance. The person- 
ality of their authors was in some measure obscured by 

Canon were identical with those of 
Marcion. The spurious additions 
to Tertullian's tract de Prcescr. Ha- 
rd . (c. LI.) are of no independent 

^ I have not noticed the title 
'Apostolicon' or 'Apostolus' in 
Tertullian ; but it occurs in Epipha- 
nius, and in the Dialogue appended 
to Origen's works. 

2 Of the numerous essays on 
Marcion's Gospel the most important 
are by Ritschl (1846), Volkmar 
(1852), and Hilgenfeld(7^;^^^/. JahrO. 
1853), Sanday, The Gospels in the 
Second Century, c. Viii. and Ap- 
pendix. See also Introduction to the 
Study of the Gospels, App. D. No. IV. 

^ See Note at the end of the 




the character of their work. The Gospel was felt to be 
Christ's Gospel — the name which Marcion ventured to 
apply to his own — and not the particular narration of 
any Evangelist. And such considerations as these will 
explain, though they do not justify, the liberty which 
Marcion allowed himself in dealing with the text of St 
Luke. There can be no doubt that St Luke's narrative 
lay at the basis of his Gospel ; but it is not equally clear 
that all the changes which were introduced into it were 
due to Marcion himself \ Some of the omissions can be 
explained at once by his peculiar doctrines ; but others 
are unlike arbitrary corrections, and must be considered 
as various readings of the greatest interest, dating as 
they do to a time anterior to all other authorities in 
our possession^ 

There is no evidence to shew on what grounds 
Marcion rejected the Acts and the Pastoral Epistles I 
Their character is in itself sufficient to explain the fact ; 
and there is nothing to indicate that his judgment was 
based on any historical objections to their authenticity. 

^ The main question is are we to 
consider the third Gospel an en- 
largement of the Gospel put forth 
by Marcion, or the foundation of it ? 
And I venture to think that the 
evidence is decisive in favour of the 
second alternative. But at the same 
time textual authorities shew that 
there were two very early 'recen- 
sions' of St Luke's Gospel, and it is 
by no means unlikely that Marcion's 
copy represented a peculiar text. 

This is not the place to enter in 
detail upon this question, but it may 
be worth while to notice that Ter- 
tullian does not say that Marcion 
removed Matt. xv. 24, 1^ from St 
Luke. He simply challenges him 
to take away from the Gospel what 
was a well-known part of it (Mar- 
cion aufer [not aiifert^ etiam illud 

de Evangelio...flt^z/. Marc. IV. 7). 
So too the reading in Luke v. 14, 
assumed by Epiphanius, is found in 
good early authorities though wrong. 
Thus neither the statement nor the 
inference in Supernat. Rel. II. pp. 
100 f. is correct. 

^ Of the longer omissions the 
most remarkable is that of the para- 
ble of the Prodigal Son (Epiph. p. 
338). The quotations from Mar- 
cion's Gospels are collected by Kirch- 
hofer (pp. 366 ff.). Cf. Introduction to 
the Study of the Gospels, App.D. No.iv. 

3 In one passage Epiphanius (p. 
321) according to the present text 
affirms that he acknowledged at 
least in part the fourteen Pauline 
Epistles ; but there is evidently some 
corruption in the words. 




In the Acts there is the clearest recognition of the 
teaching of St Peter as one constituent part of the 
Christian faith, while Marcion regarded it as essentially- 
faulty; and so again, since he claimed to be the 
founder of a new line of bishops, it was obviously 
desirable to clear away the foundation of the Churches 
whose Apostolicity he denied. This may have been the 
reason why they were not found in his Canon ; but it is 
unsatisfactory to conjecture where history is silent. And 
the mere fact that Marcion did not recognise the Epi- 
stles cannot be used as an argument against their 
Pauline origin, so long as the grounds of his decision are 

The rejection of .the other books of the New Testa- 
ment Canon was a necessary consequence of Marcion's 
principles^ The first Apostles according to him had an 
imperfect apprehension of the truth, and their writings 
necessarily partook of this imperfection. But it does not 
follow that he regarded them as unauthentic because he 
set them aside as unauthoritative^. 

1 The Epistle to the Hebrews is 
a continuous vindication of the spi- 
ritual significance of the Mosaic 
Covenant which Marcion denied. 
Even supposing therefore that he 
was acquainted with the tradition 
that it was written by St Paul, he 
could not have accepted it as part of 
his Canon. 

2 Though Marcion only used St 
Luke's Gospel, it appears that he 
was acquainted with the others, and 
endeavoured to overthrow their au- 
thority, not by questioning their au- 
thenticity, but by shewing that those 
by whose authority they were pub- 
lished were reproved by St Paul 
[adv. Marc. IV. 3) : Connititur ad 
destruendum statum eorum evan- 
geliorum quae propria et sub Apo- 
stolorum nomine eduntur, vel etiam 

Apostolicorum (St Mark), ut scilicet 
fidem quam illis adimit suo conferat. 
The rejection of St John's writings 
by Marcion is remarkable, because 
the Gospel is in its tendency essen- 
tially anti-Judaic. On the other 
hand this Gospel bears the mark of 
individuality so strongly as distin- 
guished from the common form of 
Evangelic tradition that it could 
not have been taken to represent 
the typical Gospel of Christ. No- 
thing I believe is known of the 
grounds on which Marcion assailed 
the position of St John's or St Mat- 
thew's Gospel, and it is uncertain 
whether Tertullian in the passage 
quoted speaks from a knowledge of 
what Marcion may have written on 
the subject or simply from his own 
point of sight. Still I can see no 




Apart from the important testimony which it bears 
to a large section of the New Testament writings, the 
Canon of Marcion is of importance as shewing the 
principle by which the New Testament was formed. 
Marcion accepted St Paul's writings as a final and 
decisive test of St Paul's teaching ; in like manner the 
Catholic Church received the writings which were sanc- 
tioned by Apostolic authority as combining to convey 
the different elements of Christianity. There is indeed 
no evidence to shew that any definite Canon of the 
Apostolic writings was already published in Asia Minor 
when Marcion's appeared ; but the minute and varied 
hints which have been already collected tend to prove 
that if it were not expressly fixed it was yet implicitly 
determined by the practice of the Church. And though 
undue weight must not be attached to the language of 
his adversaries, it is not to be forgotten that they always 
charge him with mutilating something which already 
existed, and not with endeavouring to impose a test 
which was not generally received. 

reason, in the absence of other evi- 
dence, to question the fact which he 

The opinions of Apelles, a disci- 
ple of Marcion, upon the Books of 
the New Testament are vaguely de- 
scribed. He is said to have ad- 
mitted 'such parts of the Gospels and 
'the Apostle as pleased him' {tQ>v 
evayyeklwv t] tov aTrocrroXou rd dpi- 
(TKOvra avrQ aipeirai [Hipp.] adv. 

Hcer. VII. 38). Dr Abbot points out 
to me that he seems to refer to John 
XX. -25 as well as to Luke xxiv. 39 in 
the words cited by Hippolytus (Z r.). 
Epiphanius in refuting his opinions 
quotes without reserve the Gospel of 
St John among other Scriptures {Hcer. 
XLiv. 4). This however proves little, 
but from Origen {in Joan. xix. i) 
it is clear that St John's Gospel was 
used by some Marcionite schools. 

Note: see page 314. 

According to Tertullian the Epistles were arranged by Marcion {adv. 
Marc. V.) in the following order : Galatians, i and 2 Corinthians, Romans, 
1 and 1 Thessalonians, Ephesians (Laodiceans), Colossians, Philippians, 

Epiphanius gives the same order, with the single exception that he 
transposes the last two {Hcer. xlii. p. 373), , 

Chap, iv. 

The prin- 
ciples on 
•which the 
Canon was 




Tertullian expressly affirms the identity of the Epistles to the Laodiceans 
and to the Ephesians {ib. 17) ; and implies that Marcion prided himself on 
the restoration of the true title, quasi et in isto diligeniissimus explorator. 
The language of Epiphanius is self-contradictory. 

The statements of Tertullian and Epiphanius as to the Epistle to Phi- 
lemon are at first sight opposed ; but I believe that Epiphanius either used 
the word diaaTp6(f)us loosely, or was misled by some author who applied it 
to the transposition and not to the corruption of the Epistle. He uses the 
same word of the Epistle to the Philippians, but Tertullian gives no hint 
that that Epistle was tampered with in an especial manner by Marcion. 
Cf. Epiph. Har. XLII. pp. 373 f. ; Tertull. adv. Marc. v. 20, 21. Again 
Epiphanius says {^b. p. 371) that the Epistles to the Thessalonians were 
' distorted in like manner.' 

Epiphanius notices the following readings as peculiar to Marcion : 

Eph. V. 31, om. rrn yvpaiKl. So Jerome. 

Gal. V. 9, SoXot. So Lucif., al. 

I Cor. ix. 8, d vo/ulos + Mwuo-^ws. See the following verse. 

— X. 9, Xpiarbp for Kvpiop. So DEFGKL, al. 

— — I9> ''■^ ovv 077/^^; cVt UpoBvTov TL ^(TTiv 7/ eloujKodxrrov tl ^(TTiv ; 
aXV on, K.r.\. Cf. varr. lectt. 

1 Cor. xiv. 19, 5ta roy vofxov for 5. tqv vo6$ fiov. So Ambrst. 

2 Cor. iv. 13, om. Kara to yey pa/xfj-ivov. 

The language of Tertullian is more general. Speaking of the Epistle 
to the Romans he says : Quantas autem foveas in ista vel maxime Epistola 
Marcion fecerit auferendo quae voluit de nostri Instrumenti integritate pa- 
rebit {adv. Marc. v. 13); but he does not enumerate any of these lacunae, 
nor are they noticed by Epiphanius. In the next chapter, after quoting 
Rom. viii. 11, he adds Salio et hie amplissimum abruptum intercisae scrip- 
turae, and then passes to Rom. x. 2. Epiphanius says nothing of any 
omission here ; and the language of Tertullian is at least ambiguous, espe- 
cially when taken in connexion with his commentary on Rom. xi. 33. It 
appears however from Origen {Comm. in Rom. xvi. 25) that Marcion omitted 
the last two chapters of the Epistle. 

In the Epistle to the Galatians it seems that there was some omission 
in the third chapter (Tert. adv. Marc. V. 3), but it is uncertain of what 
extent it was. In Gal. ii. 5 Marcion read ovlky while Tertullian omitted 
the negative [I.e.). 

The other variations mentioned by Tertullian are the following : 

1 Cor. XV. 45, KiJptos for 'A5a^ (2). Cf. varr. lectt. 

2 Cor. iv. 4, Marcion was evidently right in his punctuation. In guibus 
deus c€vi AuJus...l^os contra, says Tertullian, sic distinguendum dicimus; 
In guibus deus, dehinc : cevi hujus exccBcavit mentes infidelium {adv. Marc. 

Eph. ii. 15, om. avrov. 

20, om. KOL TTpOtpTJTCOU. 

— iii. 9, om. iv. 

— vi. 2, om. 17x15 — end. 

1 Thess. ii. i^ + ldiovs (before TrpocprjTas). So D*** E** KL, al. 

2 Thess. i. 8, om. iv irvpl ^Xoyos. 

In addition to these various readings Jerome {in loc.) mentions the 
omission of kol Qeov Xlar^os in Gal. i. i ; and from the Dialogue (c. 5) it 
appears that the Marcionites read i Cor. xv. 38 sqq. with considerable dif- 
ferences from the common text. 




The examination of these readings perhaps belongs rather to the his- 
tory of the text than to the history of the Canon ; but they are in them- 
selves a proof of the minute and jealous attention paid to the N. T. Scrip- 
tures. If the text was watched carefully, the Canon cannot have been a 
matter of indifference. 

§ 10. Tatian. 

The history of Tatian throws an important light on 
that of Marcion^. Both were naturally restless, inqui- 
sitive, impetuous. They were subject to the same influ- 
ences, and were probably resident for a while in the same 
city^ Both remained for some time within the Catholic 
Church, and then sought the satisfaction of their peculiar 
wants in a system of stricter discipline and sterner logic. 
Both abandoned the received Canon of Scripture ; and 
their combined witness goes far to establish it in its 
integrity. They exhibit different phases of the same 
temper; and while they testify to the existence of a 
critical spirit among Christians of the second century, 
they point to a Catholic Church as the one centre from 
which their systems diverged. 

Tatian was an Assyrian by birth, and a pagan, but 
no less than his future master Justin an ardent student 
of philosophy. Like the most famous men of his age, 
he was attracted to Rome, and there he met Justin, — 
that 'most admirable man,' as he calls him — whose influ- 
ence and experience could not fail to win one of such a 
character as Tatian's to the Christian faith. The hos- 
tility of Crescens tested the sincerity of his conversion ; 
and after the death of Justin he devoted himself to 
carrying on the work which his master had begun. For 
a time his work was successfully accomplished, and 
Rhodon was among his scholars. But afterwards, in 

1 On Tatian see especially Bp 2 Tat. Orat, c. 18; Just. Ap. I. 
Lightfoot, C.R„ May, 1877, 1132 ff. 26. 

Chap. iv. 

The relation 
^Tatian to 

The event- 
f Illness o/his 




consequence of his elevation, as Irenaeus asserts, he 
introduced novelties of doctrine into his teaching ; and 
at last returning to the East, placed himself at the head 
of the sect of the Encratites, combining the Valentinian 
doctrine of ^ons with the asceticism of Marcion\ 

The strange vicissitudes of Tatian's life, whose lite- 
rary activity may be most probably placed in the third 
quarter of the second century, contribute to the value 
of his evidence. In part he continues the testimony of 
Justin, and in part he completes the Canon of Marcion. 
Doubts have been raised as to Justin's acquaintance 
with the writings of St Paul and St John ; and yet we 
find his scholar using them without hesitation. Marcion 
is said to have rejected the Pastoral Epistles on critical 
grounds ; and Tatian, who was not less ready to trust 
to his individual judgment, affirmed that the Epistle to 
Titus was most certainly the Apostle's writing. 

The existing work of Tatian, his Address to Greeks, 
offers no scope for Scriptural quotations. There is 
abundant evidence to prove his deep reverence for the 
writings of the Old Testament, and yet only one anony- 
mous quotation from it occurs in his Address^; but it is 
most worthy of notice that in the same work he makes 
clear references to the Gospel of St John, to a parable 
recorded by St Matthew, and probably to the Epistle 
of St Paul to the Romans and his first Epistle to the 
Corinthians, and to the Apocalypse^ The absence of 
more explicit testimony to the books of the New Testa- 

1 Tatian, Orat. cc. 42, i, 35, 18, i. 3). 

19. Iren. c. Hcer. I. 28. i (Euseb. ^ St Matthew xiii. 44, Orat. c. 30. 

H. E. IV. 29). Epiph. Hat: xlvi. St John [i. i, Orat. c. 5, this re- 

Cf. Iren. c. Hcer. iii. 23. 8. ference is not certain]; i. 3, c. 19; i. 

2 Orat. c. 15; Ps. viii. 5. The 5, c. 13; iv. 24,0. 4. 

quotation occurs in Heb. ii. 7; and it Romans i. 20, c. 4; vii. 15, c. 11. 
may be remarked that Tatian just be- i Corinthians iii. 16, ii. 14,0. 15. 
fore uses the word d7rai57a(r/*a (Heb. Apoc. xxi. sq. c. 20. 




ment is to be accounted for by the style of his writing, 
and does not imply either ignorance or neglect of them. 
A few fragments and notices in other writers help to 
extend the evidence of Tatian. Eusebius relates on the 
authority of others that * he dared to alter some of the 

* expressions of the Apostle (Paul), correcting their style\' 
In this there is nothing to shew that Eusebius was aware 
of greater differences as to the contents of the New 
Testament between the Catholics and Tatian than might 
fall under the name of various readings ; yet in this it 
appears that he was deceived. Jerome states expressly 
that Tatian rejected some of the Epistles of St Paul, 
though he maintained the authenticity of that to Titus^ 
However this may be, it can be gathered from Clement 
of Alexandria, Irenseus, and Jerome, that he endea- 
voured to derive authority for his peculiar opinions from 
the Epistles to the Corinthians and Galatians, and per- 
haps from the Epistle to the Ephesians and the Gospel of 
St Matthewl Nor is this all : the name of one out of 

* the great multitude of his compositions ' is not the least 
important element of his testimony ; his Diatessaron is 
apparently the first recognition of a fourfold Gospel. 

The obvious sense of the title of the book Diates- 

^ Euseb. H. E, IV. 29 : rov airo- 
aroKov (paal ToK/xijaai rivas avrou 
lx€Ta(ppdaaL (pojvds, ws einbLopdov' 
fievou avT(^v tt]v ttjs ^pdaecos avv- 

2 Pre/, in Tit. (Fr. 11, Otto) : Ta- 
tianus Encratitarum patriarches, qui 
et ipse nonnullas Pauli Epistolas re- 
pudiavit, banc vel maxime (/. e. the 
Ep. to Titus) Apostoli pronuncian- 
dam credidit, parvi pendens Marci- 
onis et aliorum qui cum eo in hac 
parte consentiunt assertionem. 

It is probable that he rejected the 
Epistles to Timothy (cf. Otto /. c), 
but there is no evidence to prove 


it. Many of the Encratites rejected 
St Paul altogether. Cf. p. 323, n. i. 

^ I Corinthians vii. 5 ; Clem. Alex. 
Strom. 111. 12, 81 (raura <py](nv rov 
dTr6(XTo\ov i^7]yo6iJ,€vos) (fr. i) : xv. 22; 
Iren. III. 23. 8 (fr. 5). 

Galatians vi. 8 j Hieron. Comm. in 
loc. (fr. 3). 

St Matthew,vi. 19 ; xxii. 30 ; Clem. 
Alex. Strom. 111. 12. 86 (fr. 2). 

Ephesians iv. 24; Clem. Alex./, c. 
82 (fr. 8) (d iraXaLos dvijp /cat 6 Kai.v6s. 
These tw^o last references are from 
an anonymous citation {tis) which 
has been commonly assigned to Ta- 

Chap. iv. 

and in his 

The title 




Chap. iv. 

His Diates- 
saron. The 
account of it 
given by Eu- 
sebius and 

saron, ' the [Gospel] by the Four/ in the absence of all 
real external evidence in support of another view, must 
be allowed to have great weight. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that the name was given to the work 
by Tatian himself; and if the Diatessaron was not a 
compilation of four Gospels, what is the explanation of 
the number? If again these four Gospels were not 
those which we receive, what other four Gospels ever 
formed a collection which needed no further descrip- 
tion than the Fourf I am not aware that any answer 
has been given to these questions ; and in connexion 
with the belief and assertions of early Fathers they are 
surely decisive as to the sources of Tatian's Diatessaron \ 
For all that can be gathered from history falls in with 
the idea suggested by the title. The earliest mention of it'^ 
is found in Eusebius. ' Tatian,' he says, * the former leader 
* of the Encratites, having put together in some strange 
'fashion a combination and collection of the Gospels, 
' gave this the name of the Diatessaron^ and the work is 
'still partially currentl' The words evidently imply 

^ Tatian's Diatessaron is said to 
have contained one important ad- 
dition (Matt, xxvii. 49), which is 
however found in i<BCLU, al. Cf. 
Tischendorf, in loc. 

^ No notice is taken of the Dia- 
tessaron in Otto's Edition of Tatian. 
The most exact account of it with 
which I am acquainted is that of 
Credner, Beitrdge, i, pp. 437 ff. He 
endeavours to shew that the Diates- 
saron was in fact a form of the Pe- 
trine Gospel, and identical with that 
of Justin Martyr (p. 444). When 
he says (p. 48) that the Diatessaron 
is spoken of * bald als eine von ihm 
'selbst (Tatian) verfasste, gottlose 
' Harmonie aus unsern vier Evange- 

* lien, bald als eine eigene, sdbstdndige 

* Schrift, ' I confess that I do not 
recognise his usual accuracy and 
candour. His further arguments do 

not add plausibility to his conclusion: 
Gesch. des N. T. Kanon, p. 22. 

^ Euseb. //. E. IV. 29 : 6 fi^irroi 
ye irporepos avruv dpxvyos 6 Tart- 
aj'os cvva.<f)ei6.v nva Kal avvaycjy^v 
ovK old' Sttws Tuiv €vayye\icx}v avudels 
TO 5ia Teaadpwv tovto TrpocruvofMaaew 
o Kal Trapd tktiv da^TL vvv (p^perai. 
Eusebius may speak from hearsay; 
but he explicitly attributes the title 
of the book to Tatian himself, and 
makes no mention of any Apocryphal 
additions to the Evangelic narrative. 
The vague language of Epiphanius 
(p. 326, n. i) cannot be fairly used to 
invalidate Eusebius' direct statement 
as to the authenticity of the title. 

The term 8id Teaadpwv was used in 
music to express the concord of the 
fourth [avWa^ri). This sense may 
throw some light upon the choice of 
the name. 




that the Canonical Gospels formed the basis of Tatian's 
Harmony ; and that this was the opinion of Eusebius is 
placed beyond all doubt by the preceding sentence, in 
which he states that 'the Severians who consolidated 

* Tatian's heresy made use of the Law and the Prophets 

* and the Gospels, while they spoke ill of the Apostle 
' Paul, rejecting his Epistles, and refusing to receive the 
*Acts of the Apostles \' Not very long afterwards 
Theodoret gives a more exact account of the character 
and common use of the book. ' Tatian also composed 
'the Gospel called Diatessaron, removing the genealo- 
'gies, and all the other passages which shew that the 
' Lord was born of David according to the flesh. This 
'was used not only by the members of his party, but 
' even by those who followed the Apostolic doctrine, as 
' they did not perceive the evil design of the composition, 
' but used the book in their simplicity for its conciseness. 
' And I found also myself more than two hundred such 
'books in our churches {Le. in Syria), which had been 
' received with respect ; and having gathered all together, 
' I caused them to be laid aside, and introduced in their 
' place the Gospels of the four Evangelists I' From this 

Chap. iv. 

^ Euseb. /. c. Credner (p. 439) 
supposes that the term Severiani was 
merely a translation of iyKparrjTai. 
Origen {c. Cels. y. 65) mentions the 
Encratites among those who rejected 
the Epistles of St Paul. They re- 
ceived some Apocryphal books also : 
Kk')(j>r)VTa.L hk yfia(\>aj.% irpoTOTijTrojs 
(? irpcoTOTinrois) rats Xeyofxivais 'Av- 
5phv Kal 'loidvvov irpd^eaiv Kal Qwfici 
Kal diroKp^xpois rial (Epiph. I/cer. 
XLVII. i). 

2 Theodor. Hceret. Fab. I. 20 
(Credn. p. 442) : ovto^ koI to 5td 
Teaadpuv KoKoipLevov (TwrideiKev eJ- 
ayyiXiov, rds yeveaXoyias irepcKoil/as 
Kal rd dWa 6<ra e/c (nr^pfiaros Aa/3t5 

Kara crdpKa yeyevrjfxhov tov K^piov 
belKvvaw. ''Expw^-'^TO 5^ tovti^} ov 
pLovou ol TTjs iKeivov avpifJLopias dWa 
Kal ol rots diro<TTo\LKoi% eirbfxevoi boy- 
fiaai, T-fjv TTJS (TvvdrjKrjs KaKovpyiav 
ovK iyvcoKores, dXX' dirXoixxrepov dis 

(TWTOfMCj} T^ ^L^Xicp Xp7?<7d/i6l'Oi. Ew- 

pop dk Kayij) irXeiovs r} dcaKoaias ^i- 
jSXous TOLavras h rats irap' Tjfuv eKKXr]- 
ciais TeTifirjfiivas Kal xdaas cvvaya' 
yCov dired^p.T)v Kal rd tCov Terrdpuv 
evayyeXia-rQu duTeiarjyayov evayyi' 
Xi.a. The technical sense of KaKovp- 
yla [malitia) forbids us to lay any 
undue stress on the word. 

The large number of copies is a 
striking indication of the wide circu- 

Y 2 





Chap. iv. 



Statement it is clear that the Diatessaron was so ortho- 
dox as to enjoy a wide ecclesiastical popularity. The 
heretical character of the book was not evident upon 
the surface of it, and consisted rather in faults of defect 
than in erroneous teaching. Moreover Theodoret had 
certainly examined it, and he like earlier writers regarded 
it as a compilation from the four Gospels. He speaks of 
omissions (taking the Synoptists as his standard) which 
were at least in part natural in a Harmony, but notices 
no such Apocryphal additions as would have found place 
in any Gospel not derived from Canonical sources. 

These testimonies receive a remarkable illustration 
from the ' Doctrine of Addai ' an apocryphal Syriac 
work, written at Edessa or in the neighbourhood, dating 
in all probability from about the middle of the third 
century. In this it is said that the early converts of 
Edessa heard read with the Old Testament 'the New 
• [Testament] of the Diatessaron^' The name of the 
author is not mentioned ; but that can be supplied with 
certainty from another witness of the same region. It 
is stated by Dionysius Bar Salibi, a writer of the close 
of the twelfth century, that Ephraem Syrus (f 373), the 
celebrated Deacon of Edessa, wrote a commentary on 
the Diatessaron of Tatian, as he might naturally do if 
the work was in public use in his Church. 

This work, or perhaps a series of extracts from it, is 
still preserved in an Armenian translation. The Ar- 
menian text was published as long since as 1836, but 
recently the work has been made generally accessible 
in a Latin translation I The first passage commented 

lation of the Gospels, which this com- ...a sancto Latinum 

pilation partially supplanted in a translata a R. P. loanne Baptista 

special district. Aucher, Mechitarista, cujus version- 

1 Comp. Lightfoot, /. c. 1137; em emendavit...Dr Georgius Moe- 

Abbot /. c. p. 53 n. singer, Professor studii biblici A. T. 

- Evangelii ccncordantis expositio Salisburgi Venetiis, 1876. 




upon is John i. i, with which, as it appears from the 
evidence of Bar Salibi, Tatian's Harmony began. Then 
follow passages from the four Gospels, of which those 
taken from St Matthew and St John are in the main in 
the order of the Gospels: the quotations from St Luke 
are much transposed ; from St Mark there are, as far as 
I have observed, only three (or four) quotations. The 
last passage discussed is Acts i. 4. 

There is no reason for doubting the authenticity of 
this work, and the character of the text of the passages 
quoted is a very strong positive argument in favour of 
the belief that they were taken from Tatian's Harmony. 
In many cases it is undoubtedly difficult to speak con- 
fidently as to the reading which has passed through two, 
or rather three, translations, but some of those which 
are beyond question are readings which are^ supported 
only by authorities which are of the most ancient type\ 

Against this decisive evidence a vague statement of 
Epiphanius is quoted, who writes that Tatian * is said to 
'have been the author of the Harmony of the four 
' Gospels which some call the Gospel according to the 

^ The following may be mentioned : 

Matt. viii. lo, ira/o' ovZevi, p. 74. 

— xi. 25, Trdrc/) rov ovp. Kal rrjs yrjs [' in grgeco dicit') p. 116 f. 

— xi. 27, ovSets ovTriy. xaT^pa...oy'5i toV viou. ..ip. iij. 

— xxi. 31,0 Se&repos, p. 191. 

— xxii. 23, \iyopT€t, p. 193. 
Luke i.'78, eTnaK^rperat, p. 20. 

— ii. 14, iv dvdpoiiroi^ evSoKiat, p. 27. 

— ii. 26, XP''^'^^^ KvpLov, p. 226. 

John i. 3, 4, 5 y^yovev ev avrt^ ^wrj ^v, p. 5. 

— iii. 13, om. 6 Civ iu t(^ ovp. (appy) pp. 168, 187, 189. 

— iv. 19, om. ov ydp a: I. 2. (perhaps) p. 140. 

Other remarkable readings occur : 

Matt. X. I {Luke x. i) add a/t^r his likeness^ pp. 90, 115. 

— xviii. 20, add xvhere there is one there am /, p. 165 (* con- 

solatus est dicens.') 
In John vii. 8 ov is read, and in v. 8 h Tr\ kop. p. 167. Luke xxii. 43 f. is 
read p. 235. Compare Abbot /. c. p. 55 n. 

Chap. iv. 




Chap. iv. 

General re- 
sult of the 

* Hebrews V But such a statement from such a man 
has practically no weight. There was a superficial re- 
semblance between the two books in the omission of the 
genealogies ; and Epiphanius does not appear to have 
had any opportunity of comparing them'^ 

There is then abundant evidence to shew that Ta- 
tian's work was constructed out of our four Gospels^; 
and thus once again a heretical writer is the first to 
recognise explicitly an important fact in the history of 
the Canon. It must indeed have been evident to the 
reader throughout this chapter that the testimony of 
heretical writers to the books of the New Testament 
tends on the whole to give greater certainty and weight 
to that which is drawn from other sources. So far from 
obscuring or contravening the judgment of the Church 
generally, they offer material help in the interpretation 
of it. And this follows naturally from their position. 
As separatists they fixed the standard by which they 
were willing to be judged, wherever it differed from that 
which was commonly received. And all early contro- 
versy proceeds on this basis. The authority of the 
Apostolic Scriptures is everywhere assumed : this is the 
rule, and only exceptions from the rule are noticed in 

1 Epiph. Har. XLVI. i X<fyeTai Zh 

TO 5td T€<T(rdp(ou evayyeXLcjv vir avrov 
yeyevrjada-L oirep KaTa''K^paLovs rtvh 
KaXovcri. Some may be inclined to 
change evayy eklwv into evayyiXiov. 

2 Comp. Lightfoot, /. c. pp. 1141 

The confusion of the Harmony of 
Tatian with that of Ammonius by 
some late Syrian writers (though Bar 
Salibi carefully distinguishes them) 
led to the assertion of Gregory Bar 
Hebrseus that Ephraem commented 

on the Harmony of Ammonius. For 
the origin and extent of this error 
see Lightfoot, /. c. 11 39 n. 

3 Victor of Capua (A. D. 545) says 
that Tatian's Harmony was called 
Diapente; but he evidently derived 
his information from Eusebius alone, 
and Eusebius records that Tatian 
called it Diatessaron. This blunder 
therefore lends no support to the no- 
tion that the Gospel according to the 
Hebrews was included in Tatian's 
work. Comp. Lightfoot, I.e. 1142 f. 




A BRIEF summary of the results which have been 
obtained in the First Part of our inquiry will 
shew how far they satisfy that standard of reasonable 
completeness which was laid down at the outset. The 
conditions of the problem must be fairly considered, as 
well as the character of the solution ; and it cannot be 
too often repeated that the period which has been ex- 
amined is truly the dark age of Church-history. In the 
absence of all trustworthy guidance every step requires 
to be secured by painful investigation ; and if I hj^e 
entered into tedious details, it has been because I know 
that nothing can rightly be neglected which tends to 
throw light upon the growth of the Catholic Church. 
And the growth of the Catholic Church is the compre- 
hensive fact of which the formation of the Canon is one 

The evidence which has been collected is confessedly 
fragmentary both in character and substance. And that 
it must be so follows from the nature of the case. But 
when all the fragments are combined, the result exhibits 
the chief marks of complete trustworthiness. 

First, it is of wide range both in time and place. 
Beginning with Clement of Rome the companion of St 
Paul an uninterrupted series of writers belonging to the 
chief Churches of Christendom witness with more or less 
fulness to the books of the New Testament. And though 
the evidence is thus extended, yet it is not without its 
points of connexion. Most of the writers who have 
been examined visited Rome : all of them might have 
been acquainted with Polycarp. 

The character of the evidence is no less striking 
than its extent. The allusions to Scripture are perfectly 
natural. The quotations are prefaced by no apology 


The swninn- 
ry of the 
First Part. 

1, The di- 
rect evidence 
is fragment- 
ary, but , 

of wide 


of unaffected 







ed both by the 
jitdgjuent of 
Churches » 

the practice 
of heretics. 

language of the books used was 

or explanation. The 
so familiar as to have become part of the common 
dialect. And when men speak without any clear 
intimation that the opinions which they express are 
peculiar to themselves, it is evident that they express 
the general judgment of their time. The various 
testimonies which have been collected thus unite in 
one; and that one is the general judgment of the 

This is further shewn by the uniform tendency of the 
evidence. It is always imperfect, but the different parts 
are always consistent. It is derived from men of the 
most different characters, and yet all that they say is 
strictly harmonious. Scarcely a fragment of the earliest 
Christian literature has been preserved which does not 
contain some passing allusion to the Apostolic writings; 
and yet in all there is no discrepancy. The influence of 
some common rule is the only natural explanation of 
this common consent. Nor is evidence altogether want- 
ing to prove the existence of such a rule. The testimony 
of individuals is expressly confirmed by the testimony 
of Churches. Two great Versions were current in the 
East and West from the earliest times, and the Canons 
which they exhibit agree with remarkable exactness with 
the scattered and casual notices of ecclesiastical writers. 
And their common contents — the four Gospels, the Acts, 
thirteen Epistles of St Paul, the first general Epistles of 
St Peter and St John — constitute a Canon of acknow- 
ledged books. And this agreement of independent 
writers is not limited to those who were members of the 
same Catholic Church : the evidence of heretics is even 
more full and clear; and when they differed from the 
common opinion, doctrinal and not historical objections 
occasioned the difference. 




One circumstance which at first sight appeared to 
embarrass the inquiry has been found in reahty to give 
it life and consistency. A traditional word was current 
among Christians from the first coincidently with the 
written Word. It is difficult indeed to conceive that it 
should have been otherwise if we regard the Apostles as 
vitally connected with their age ; but it is evident that 
the two might have been in many ways so related as to 
have produced an unfavourable impression as to the 
completeness of our present Canon. But now on the 
contrary the New Testament is found to include all the 
great elements which are elsewhere referred to Apostolic 
sources. Many imperfect narratives of our Lord's life 
were widely current, but the Canonical Gospels offer 
the types on which they were formed. In the first ages 
the New Testament may serve at once as the measure 
and as the rule of tradition. 

For the earliest evidence for the authenticity of 
the books of which it is composed is not confined to 
direct testimony. Perhaps that is still more convincing 
which springs from their peculiar characteristics as re- 
presenting special types of Christian truth. No one 
probably will deny the existence of distinguishing fea- 
tures in the several forms of Apostolic teaching, and 
the history of the sub-apostolic age is the history of 
corresponding differences developed in early Christian 
writers, and in turn transformed into the germs of 
heresy. The ecclesiastical phase of the difference is 
in every case later than the scriptural ; and thus, while 
I have spoken of the first century after the Apostles 
as the dark age of Church-history, the recognition of 
the great elements of the New Testament furnishes a 
satisfactory explanation of the progress of the Church 
during that critical period, which on the other hand 




itself offers no place for the forgery of such books as 
are included in the Canon. 

But while the evidence for the authenticity of the 
Canonical books of the New Testament is up to this 
point generally complete and satisfactory, it is not such 
as to remove every doubt to which the subject is liable. 
At present no trace has been found of the existence of 
the second Epistle of St Peter\ And the Epistles of 
St James and St Jude, the second and third Epistles of 
St John, the Epistles to the Hebrews, and the Apo- 
calypse, were received only partially, though they were 
received exactly in those places in which their history 
was most likely to be known I 

It is also to be noticed that the references to the 
books of the New Testament are for the most part ano- 
nymous. This, however, is the case not only in regard 
to the Gospels, where the words might have been de- 
rived from other sources, but also in regard to St Paul's 
Epistles, where the references are beyond question. If, 
therefore, parallelism of language, without explicit cita- 
tion, is not sufficient to prove with absolute conclu- 
siveness the use of the Canonical Gospels, the close 
correspondence in range, substance, and phraseology 
between the early evangelic quotations and the texts of 
the Synoptic Gospels, when taken in connexion with the 
practice of the Fathers in such of their earliest writings 
as are preserved, leaves no reasonable ground for doubt- 
ing the habitual if not exclusive use of them. 

^ One coincidence in addition to 
that noticed in p. 222, n. 3, has been 
pointed out by Dr Tregelles i^Can. 
Mtcrat. p. 102) which deserves no- 
tice. The language of the well- 
known reference to St Paul in Poly- 
carp's Epistle (c. 3) bears consider- 
able resemblance to the correspond- 

ing passage in 2 Pet. iii. 15 {(jo^la 
€iri(TTo\aL), but in the absence of all 
other evidence it is impossible to in- 
sist on this. 

2 Perhaps the Epistle of St Jude 
forms an exception to this statement. 
But the history of the Epistle is ex- 
tremely obscure. 



But while the universal usage of the Church which is 
laid open at the close of the second century must have 
been the result of a continuous custom and not of a 
revolution, the idea of a Canon itself found no public 
and authoritative expression except where it was re- 
quired by the necessities of translation. During the first 
age and long afterwards the Catholic Church offered no 
determination of the limits and groundwork of the autho- 
ritative collection of sacred books. These questions were 
practically settled by that instinctive perception of truth, 
if it may not be called by a nobler name, which I believe 
can be recognised as presiding over the organization of 
the early Church. The Canon of Marcion may have been 
the first which was publicly proposed, but the general 
consent of earlier Catholic writers proves that within the 
Church there had been no need for pronouncing a judg- 
ment on a point which had not been brought into dis- 
pute. The formation of the Canon may have been 
gradual, but it was certainly undisturbed. It was a 
growth, and not a series of contests \ 

In the next part it will be seen to what extent this 
agreement as to the Catholic Canon was established at 
the end of the second century. And this will furnish in 
some degree a measure of what had been already settled. 
The opinions of Irenaeus, Clement, and Tertullian, were 
formed by .influences which were at work within the age 
of Polycarp ; and it is wholly arbitrary to suppose that 
the later writers originated the principles which they 

1 The question of the Inspiration our present inquiry. The evidence on 
of the writers and writings of the this point is collected in the Introd. 
New Testament does not belong to to the Study of the Gospels, App. B. 


(3) the idea 
of a Ca7t07t 
is implied 
rather than 


The result 
of the teach- 
ing of this 
period to be 
sought in the 
first genera' 
tion of the 





A.D. 170—303. 

To?c neiGOMeNOic mh ANGpconcoN eTnai cyrrp^MMATA tac 
iep<\c BiBAoyc aAA el eninNOiAC toy Afioy nNeyMATOC BoyAH- 


rGrpAct)0Ai KAi eic HMAC eAHAySeNAi, tag ^ainomgnac oAoyc 
ynoAeiKTeoN, fc)(OM6Noic Toy kanonoc thc Mhcoy XpicToy kata 





Cojnmunicamus cum Ecdesiis Apostolicis quod nulli doctrina diversa: hoc 
est testimonittm veritatis. 

Ter tullianus. 

THE close of the second century marks a great change 
in the character and position of the Christian Church. 
It cannot be a mere accident that up to that time the 
remains of its literature are both unsystematic and frag- 
mentary, a meagre collection of Letters, Apologies, and 
traditions, while afterwards Christian works ever occupy 
the foremost rank in genius as well as in spiritual power- 
The contrast really expresses the natural progress of 
Christianity. At first its work was in the main with the 
heart; and when that was filled, it next asserted its right 
over the intellect. And this conquest was necessarily 
gradual and slow. A Christian dialect could not be fixed 
at once ; and the scientific aspect of the new doctrines 
could be determined only by the experience of many 
efforts to unite them with existing systems. It was thus 
that for a time philosophic views of Christianity were 
chiefly to be found without the Church, since the partial 
representation of its philosophic worth naturally preceded 
any adequate realization of it. And perhaps it is not 
difficult to see a fitness in that disposition of events which 



committed the teaching of the Apostles to minds essen- 
tially receptive and conservative, that it might be in- 
wrought into the life of men before it became the subject 
of subtle analysis. However this may be, it is impos- 
sible not to recognise the vast access of power which 
characterizes the works of Irenaeus, Clement, and Ter- 
tuUian, when compared with earlier writings, both in 
their scope and in their composition. In them Christi- 
anity asserts its second conquest : the easiest and yet 
the most perilous alone remained. It had won its way 
to the heart of the simple and to the judgment of the 
philosopher : it had still to claim the deference of the 
statesman. And each success brought its corresponding 
trial. When Wisdom {^vcoaii) was ranged with Truth, 
it was not always contented to follow; and in after times 
the subjugation of the imperial government prepared the 
way for the corruption of the Church by material im- 

But though the Fathers of the close of the second 
century are thus prominently distinguished from those 
who preceded them, it must not be forgotten that they 
were trained by that earlier generation which they sur- 
passed. They inherited the doctrines which it was their 
task to arrange and harmonize. They made no claims 
to any discoveries in Christianity, but with simple and 
earnest zeal appealed to the testimony of the Apostolic 
Church to confirm the truth of their writings. They 
never admitted the possibility of being separated from 
their forefathers ; and if it has been shewn that the con- 
tinuity of the Christian faith has hitherto suffered no 
break, from this point it is confessedly maintained with- 
out interruption. From Lyons, from Carthage, from 
Alexandria, one voice proceeds, the witness and herald 
of the truth. 



In other words the Catholic Church was now exter- 
nally established. Partial but not exclusive views of 
truth were outwardly harmonized. The barriers of local 
or traditional separation between different societies were 
broken down. The various sides of Christian doctrine, 
after the rude test of conflict and the still surer trial of 
life, were combined in one great whole. Henceforth 
complexity in faith was seen to be the condition of unity. 
The Christian body, if we may use such an image, awoke 
to the consciousness of what it was. No great change 
or revolution passed over it: no great mind moulded 
its creed or its fabric: history itself revealed the sub- 
lime truth of which it was itself the preparation and 
the witness. 

With regard to the Canon of the New Testament 
this development of the Church is of the greatest import- 
ance. In the final establishment of outward Catholicity 
that which has been already recognised in practice finds 
a formal expression. As long as those lived who had 
seen the Apostles ; as long as the teaching of the Apo- 
stles was fresh in men's minds; it was, as has been 
already seen, unlikely that their writings as distinguished 
from their words would be invested with any special 
importance. But traditions soon became manifold, while 
the books remained unchanged : a catholic Church was 
organized, and it was needful to determine the Covenant 
in which its laws were written : Christianity furnished 
subjects for the philosopher, and it was requisite to settle 
from what sources his premises might be taken. As 
soon as the want was felt, it was satisfied. As soon as 
an independent Christian literature arose in which it was 
reasonable to look for any definite recognition of the 
Apostolic writings, we find that recognition substantially 
clear and correct. With the exception of the Epistle to 

C. Z 


How this 
bears on the 
history oftlie 





Chap. i. 


The Canon 
' edged books 
at the close of 
the second \ 
century. V 


On what 
grounds it 

the Hebrews, the two shorter Epistles of St John, the 
second Epistle of St Peter, the Epistles of St James and 
St Jude, and the Apocalypse ^ all the other books of the 
New Testament are acknowledged as Apostolic and au- 
thoritative throughout the Church at the close of the 
second century. The evidence of the great Fathers by 
which the Church is represented varies in respect of 
these disputed books, but the Canon of the acknow- 
ledged books is established by their common consent. 
Thus the testimony on which it rests is not gathered 
from one quarter but from many, and those the most 
widely separated by position and character. It is given, 
not as a private, opinion, but as an unquestioned fact: 
not as a late discovery, but as an original tradition. 

From this point then it will be needless to accumu- 
late testimonies to the Canonicity of the four Gospels, of 
the Acts, of the thirteen Epistles of St Paul, of the first 
Epistles of St John and St Peter. No one at present 
will deny that they occupied the same position in the 
estimation of Christians in the time of Irenseus as they 
hold now. But here one strange fact must be noticed : 
the authenticity of the Apocalypse, which is supported by 
the satisfactory testimony of early writers, was disputed 
for the first time in the Western Church in the course of 
the third century. In other words there was a critical 
spirit still alive among Christians which impelled them 
even then to test afresh the records on which their faith 

But before dismissing the Canon of the acknowledged 
books it will be well to revert once again at greater 
length to the manner in which it is recognised by Ire- 
naeus and his contemporaries. Their evidence, considered 

* The position of the Apocalypse omission in the Peshito it would be up 
is anomalous. If it were not for its to this time an acknowledged Book. 




in connexion with the circumstances under which it is 
given, will go far to establish the point to which our 
investigations have all tended, that the formation of a 
Canon was among the first instinctive acts of the 
Christian society: that it was at first imperfect as the 
organization of the Church was at first incomplete : 
that it attained its full proportions by a sure growth 
as the development of the Church itself was finally 

Nothing is known directly of the origin of the Gal- 
ilean Church ; but from several ritual peculiarities its 
foundation may be probably referred to teachers from 
Asia Minor^ with which province it long maintained an 
intimate connexion. And thus Gaul owed its knowledge 
of Christianity to the same country from which in 
former times it had drawn its civilization: the Christian 
missionary completed the work of the Phocaean exile. 
However this may have been, the first notice of the 
Church shews its extent and constancy. In the seven- 
teenth year of the reign of Antoninus Verus it was 
visited by a fierce persecution, of which Eusebius has 
preserved a most affecting narrative addressed by the 
Christians of Vienne and Lyons to 'the brethren in Asia 
' and Phrygia who held the same faith and hope of re- 
demption as themselves ^' This narrative was written 
immediately .after the events which it describes, and 
is everywhere penetrated by scriptural language and 
thought. It contains no reference by name to any book 
of the New Testament, but its coincidences of language 
with the Gospels of St Luke and St John, with the Acts 
of the Apostles, with the Epistles of St Paul to the 

1 Palmer's Origines Liturgicce, I. pp. 155 sqq. Compare Stuart, Book 
of Deer, p. Iviii. 

2 Euseb. H.E.Y.i. 


Chap. i. 

i. The testi- 
mony of the 


[77 A. D. 

The Epistle 
of the 

Churches of 
Vienne and 



Chap. i. 

the 7-e pre sen- 
tat ive of the 

Romans, Corinthians (?), Ephesians, Philippians, and 
the first to Timothy, with the first catholic Epistles of 
St Peter and St John, and with the Apocalypse, are 
unequivocal \ In itself this fact would perhaps call for 
little notice • after what has been said of the general 
reception of the acknowledged books at the close of the 
second century, but it becomes of importance as being 
the testimony of a Church, and one which was not with- 
out connexion with the Apostolic age even at the time 
of the persecution. In the same Church where Irenaeus 
was a presbyter 'zealous for the covenant of Christ^' 
Pothinus was bishop, already ninety years old. Like 
Polycarp he was associated with the generation of St 
John, and must have been born before the books of the 
New Testament were all written. And how then can it 
be supposed with reason that forgeries came into use in 
his time which he must have been able to detect by his 
own knowledge? that they were received without sus- 
picion or reserve in the Church over which he presided t 
that they were upheld by his hearers as the ancient 
heritage of Christians.'* It is possible to weaken the 
connexion of the facts by arbitrary hypotheses, but 
interpreted according to their natural meaning they tell 
of a Church united by its head with the times of St 
John to which the books of the New Testament, and 
the books of St John above all others, furnished the 
unaffected language of hope and resignation and tri- 
umph. And the testimony of Irenaeus is the testimony 
of this Church. Nor was this the only point in which 

Euseb. /. c. The reference to geliuni of St James can shew that 

Apoc. xxii. 1 1 is introduced by the 
words IVa 77 ypacp-q TrXTjpudy. 

I do not see that the supposed 
reference to the death of Zacharias 
which is related in the Protevan- 

the description of the character of 
Zacharias was borrowed from that 
2 Euseb. H. E. v. 4. 


I RE N^ us. 


he came in contact with the immediate disciples of the 
Apostles. It has been seen already that he recalled in 
his old age the teaching of Polycarp the disciple of St 
John; and his treatise against Heresies contains several 
references^ to others who were closely connected with 
the Apostolic age. He stood forth to maintain no novel- 
ties, but to vindicate what had been believed of old. 
Those whom he quoted had borne witness to the New 
Testament Scriptures, and he only continued on a 
greater scale the usage which they had recognised. 
When he wished to win back Florinus once his fellow- 
disciple to the truth, he reminded him of the zeal and 
doctrine of Polycarp their common master, and how he 
spake of Christ's teaching and mighty works from the 
words of those who followed Him * in all things harmo- 
' niously with the Scriptures- .' And is it then possible 
that he who was taught of Polycarp was himself deceived 
as to the genuine writings of St John.? Is it possible 
that he decided otherwise than his first master, when he 
speaks of the tradition of the Apostles by which the 
Canon of Scripture was determined ^? He appeals to 
the known succession of teachers in the Churches of 
Rome, Smyrna, and Ephesus^ who held fast up to his 
own time the doctrine which they had received from the 
first age ; and is it possible that he used writings as 
genuine and authoritative which were not recognised by 
those who must have had unquestionable means of de- 
ciding on their Apostolic origin \? 

1 Cf. pp. 80 f. 

2 Iren. Ep. ad Flor. ap. Euseb. 
H. E. V. 20. 

3 Iren. c. Har. iv. 33. 8 : Agtiitio 
(Yj/wo-ts) vera est Apostolorum doc- 
trina et antiquus Ecclesiae status in 
universe mundo et character cor- 
poris Christi secundum successiones 

episcoporum quibus ilii earn quae in 
unoquoque loco est Ecclesiam tra- 
diderunt ; quae pervenit usque ad 
nos custoditione sine fictione Scrip- 
turarum tractatio plenissima neque 
additamentum neque ablationem re- 
^ Volkmar has endeavoured to 

Chap. i. 

CJmrch of 


c. 130 — 200 




Chap. i. 

ii. The tes- 
tbnony of 
t/te Church 
of Alexan- 


From Lyons we pass to Alexandria. The eariy 
history of the Egyptian Churches is not more certain 
than that of those in Gaul. Tradition indeed assigns 
the foundation of the Church of Alexandria to St Mark, 
but the best evidence of its antiquity is found in its state 
at the time of the earliest authentic record which remains 
of it. Towards the close of the second century, ' in the 

* time of Commodus,' Pantaenus 'presided over the school 

* {hiaTpL^T]) of the faithful there \' The school then was 
already in existence, however much it may have owed 
to one distinguished alike *for secular learning and 
'scriptural knowledge.' Indeed there is no absolute 
improbability in the statement of Jerome^ who inter- 
prets the words of Eusebius ' that a school (BcBaa-zcaXecov) 

shew that though Irenseus was ac- 
quainted with I Peter, yet he did 
not use it as authoritative Scripture 
(Credner, Gesch. d. N. T. Kanon, 
§ 185). But his argument certainly 
breaks down. See for instance c. 
Hcer. IV. 16. 5. Propter hoc ait 
Dominus (Matt. xil. 36)... Et prop- 
ter hoc Petrus ait (i Peter ii. 16)... 
On the use of the Epistle in the 
Latin Churches, see supra, p. 263, 
n. 3. 

^ Euseb. H. E. v. 10. Hieron. de 
Virr. Ill, 36. There is considerable 
confusion in the account given by 
Jerome of the relation of Pantoenus 
to Clement. In his notice of Pan- 
taenus he says that he 'was sent into 
' India by Demetrius bishop of Alex- 

* andria' who succeeded to the See 
in 289, and that ' he taught in the 

* reigns of Severus and Caracalla' {De 
Virr. III. c. 36). Again in the account 
of Clement he says that Clement was set 
at the head of the Catechetical school 
'after the death of Pantaenus' {id. 
c. 38). Now Clement left Alexandria 
in 202 — 3 and Origen then entered 
on the charge of the School (Euseb. 
H. E. VI. 3) ; nor is there any evi- 

dence that Clement returned to Alex- 
andria. It is therefore all but im- 
possible to suppose that Clement first 
succeeded Pantaenus in the reign of 
Caracalla, and that he was afterwards 
succeeded by Origen. Jerome's state- 
ment as to the time of the teaching 
of Pantaenus has probably been mis- 
placed, as the order of the notices 
shews. If this be admitted the nar- 
ratives of Eusebius and Jerome can 
be reconciled. The mission to India 
by Demetrius was, if the fact is au- 
thentic, a special and second journey 
undertaken 'at the request of the 
Indians,' and not that which pre- 
ceded the work of Pantaenus in the 
Catechetical school. It may be added 
that the statement of Philippus Si- 
detes that Pantaenus succeeded Cle- 
ment is probably due to the false 
date of the labours of Pantaenus 
'under Severus and Caracalla.' It 
does not fall within our present scope 
to inquire into the Hebrew Gospel 
which Pantaenus found among the 
'Indians.' The mention of the fact 
shews that attention was directed to 
the sacred books. 

2 Routh, Rell. Sacr, i. 375. 




* of the Holy Scriptures had existed there after ancient 
'custom' as meaning that * ecclesiastical teachers had 
'always been there from the time of the Evangelist 
'Mark.' Without insisting however on the Apostolic 
origin of the school itself, it seems not improbable that 
Pantaenus was personally connected with some imme- 
diate disciples of the Apostles. Many contemporaries 
of Pothinus and Polycarp may have survived to declare 
the teaching of St John; and Photius in fact represents 
Pantaenus as a hearer of the Apostles \ At any rate 
there is not the slightest ground for assuming any 
■organic change in the doctrine of the Alexandrine 
Church between the age of the Apostles and Pantaenus. 
Everything on the contrary bespeaks its unbroken con- 
tinuity. And Clement, the second of our witnesses, 
was trained in the school of Pantsenus. He speaks as 
the representative of a class devoted specially to the 
study of the Scriptures, and established in a city second 
to none for the advantages and encouragement which it 
offered to literary criticism. Like Irenaeus, Clement 
appeals with decision and confidence to the judgment of 
those who had preceded him. His writings were no 
' mere compositions wrought for display,' but contained 
a faint picture ' of the clear and vivid discourses, and of 
'the blessed and truly estimable men whom it was his 
'privilege to hear.' For though Alexandria was in it- 
self the common meeting-place of the traditions of the 
East and West, Clement had sought them out in their 
proper sources. As far as can be gathered from the 
clause in which he describes his teachers, he had studied 
in Greece and Italy and various parts of the East under 
various masters from Coele-Syria, from Egypt, and 
from Assyria, and also under a Hebrew in Palestine, 
1 Cod, ii8, p. i6o, ed. Hoesch.; Lumper, iv. 44; Routh, i. 377. 


c. 165 — 220 




before he met with Panta^nus. ' And these men/ he 
writes, 'preserving the true tradition of the blessed 
' teaching directly from Peter and James, from John and 
'Paul, the holy Apostles, son receiving it from father 
' (but few are they who are like their fathers), came by 
' God's providence even to us, to deposit among us those 
' seeds [of truth] which were derived from their ancestors 
'and the Apostles ^' 

Of the African Church I have already spoken. The 
venerable relics of the Old Latin Version attest the 
early reception of the New Testament there, and the 
care with which it was studied. In themselves those 
fragments are incomplete, and often questionable ; but 
they do not stand alone. The writings of TertuUian 
furnish an invaluable commentary on the conclusions 
which have been drawn from them^; and in turn his 
testimony is the judgment of his Church ; an inheritance, 
and not a deduction. 

^ Clem. Alex.^7r^w.i. 1. 1 1 (Euseb. 
H. E. Y. ii): "HSi; 5^ ov ypa^rj eis 
iTridei^LV TeTexvaafx^vrj Tjde i] irpayixa- 
Tela dWd fioL VTrofxvrjfMaTa els yrjpas 
dTjo-avpi^erai XrjOrjs (pdpfiaKov, et8u}\ou 
drex^wj Kal CKioypacpla tuv ivapyQv 
Kal eix\pvx(>iv iKelvwv wu Karri^nlidyjv 
iiraKovaaL Xdyuv re Kal &v5pQu fia- 
Kapi(vv Kal T(p dfTL d^LoXdywv. tov- 
TU3V 6 fih iirl ttjs 'EXXdSos 6 'Iwvlkos, 
ol (Euseb. 6) 5^ iirl ttjs fieydXyj^ 'EX- 
XdSos, TTJs KoiXris ddrepos airCbv 2u- 
/otas T^v 6 Sk air' Alyinrrov' dXXoi 8^ 
dpd Tr]v dvaToXrjv, Kal ravT-qs 6 (xkv 
Trjs Twv 'Aaavpluiv 6 5^ iu IlaXat- 
(TTluy 'E^palos dviKadev vaTaTcp Sk 
TrepLTVX^v {bwdp^ei 8k ovtos irpQiTos 
rjv) dveTrav<7dfxr)v iu AiyvTrTCf} drjpdcras 
XeXrjdoTa. 2t/ceXt/C7; rip 6vti ?/ fiiXirra, 
TrpocprjTLKOv re Kal diroaroXiKov Xei- 
fiojvos rd dvdi} 8peirQfievo% dKTjparov 
TL 7J/W(7ea;s XPVf^^ t°-^^ "^^^ aKpowp-k- 
vwv eveyhvrjcye \pvxoui. dXX ol [xh 
TT]P dX-fjOrj T^s jxaKapias aoj^ovres Sf 

dacTKaXias wapdSoaiu €v6i>s dirb 11^- 

TpOV T€ Kal 'IttKW/SoU, 'livdPVOV T€ Kal 

IlaOXov, tC)v dyiujv dirocTToXcjv, jraTs 
irapd Trarpbs eKbexo/xevos {oKLyoi. Sk 
ol TraTpdatv Syuotoi), ^kov St} aiiv 6e(^ 
Kal els rffids rd TrpoyouLKa eKelva Kal 
aTToaToXLKd KaraOrjaofieuoL cirip/jLara. 
Kal eS ol8' 6ti dyaXXidaovTac, ovxjL 
TTi eK(ppdcrei rjadivres X^yd) rySe, 
fJLOurj 8k rrj Kara rrjv inroaTjfieiioaiv 
rrjprjcrei. The passage is of great im- 
portance as shewing the intimate in- 
tercourse between different churches 
in Clement's time and the uniformity 
of their doctrine. The use of the 
prepositions is singularly exact and 
worthy of notice. I have changed 
Klotz's punctuation, which makes the 
passage unintelligible. 

^ Compare his sequence of quo- 
tations De resurr. carnis, 33 if,, 
De pudicitia, 6 ff., given above pp. 
262 f. 




Tertullian himself insists on this with characteristic 
energy. ' If,' he says, ' it is acknowledged that that is 
' more true which is more ancient, that more ancient 
' which is even from the beginning, that from the begin- 

* ning which is from the Apostles ; it will in like manner 
' assuredly be acknowledged that that has been derived 

* by tradition from the Apostles which has been preserved 
' inviolate in the Churches of the Apostles. Let us see 

* what milk the Corinthians drank from Paul ; to what 
' rule the Galatians were recalled by his reproofs ; what 
' is read by the Philippians, the Thessalonians, the Ephe- 
' sians ; what is the testimony of the Romans, who are 
' nearest to us, to whom Peter and Paul left the Gospel, 
' and that sealed by their own blood. We have more- 
' over Churches founded by John. For even if Marcion 
'rejects his Apocalypse, still the succession of bishops [in 
' the seven Churches] if traced to its source will rest on 

* the authority of John. And the noble descent of other 
' Churches is recognised in the same manner. I say then 
' that among them, and not only among the Apostolic 
' Churches, but among all the Churches which are united 
' with them in Christian fellowship, that Gospel of Luke 
' which we earnestly defend has been maintained from 
'its first pubHcation^' And * the same authority of the 

^ Adv. Marc. IV. 5 : In summa si 
constat id verius'quod prius, id prius 
quod et ab initio, ab initio quod ab 
Apostolis : pariter utique constabit 
id esse ab Apostolis traditum quod 
apud ecclesias Apostolorum fuerit 
sacrosanctum. Videamus quod lac a 
Paulo Corinthii hauserint ; ad quam 
regulam Galatae sint recorrecti ; quid 
legant Philippenses, Thessalonicen- 
ses, Ephesii ; quid etiam Romani de 
proximo sonent, quibus evangelium 
et Petrus et Paulus sanguine quoque 
suo signatum reliquerunt. Habemus 

et Johannis alumnas ecclesias. Nam 
etsi Apocalypsim ejus Marcion re- 
spuit, ordo tamen episcoporum ad 
originem recensus in Johannem sta- 
bit auctorem. Sic et cseterarum ge- 
nerositas recognoscitur. Dico itaque 
apud illas, nee solas jam Apostolicas 
sed apud universas quae illis de so- 
cietate sacramenti confoederantur, id 
evangelium Lucse ab initio editionis 
suoe stare quod cummaxime tuemur. 
The clause in yohannem stabit aiic- 
torem is commonly translated *will 
*shew it [the Apocalypse] to have 

Chap. i. 

c. 160 — 240 





All appeal 
to antiquity. 

'Apostolic Churches will uphold the other Gospels 
'which we have in due succession through them and 
' according to their usage, I mean those of [the Apostles] 
' Matthew and John : although that which was published 
'by Mark may also be maintained to be Peter's, whose 
' interpreter Mark was : for the narrative of Luke also 
' is generally ascribed to Paul: [since] it is allowable that 
' that which scholars publish should be regarded as their 
' master's work.' ' These are for the most part the sum- 
' mary arguments which we employ when we argue about 
' the Gospels against heretics, maintaining both the order 
' of time which sets aside the later works of forgers (pos- 
'teritati falsariorum prasscribenti), and the authority of 
' Churches which upholds the tradition of the Apostles ; 
' because truth necessarily precedes forgery, and proceeds 
' from them to whom it has been delivered \' 

The words of Tertullian sum up clearly and decisively 
what has been said before of the evidence of Irenseus and 
Clement. All the Fathers at the close of the second 
century agree in appealing to the testimony of antiquity 
as proving the authenticity of the books which they used 
as Christian Scriptures^ And the appeal was made at 

'John for its -author;' but it is evi- 
dent that such a translation is quite 
out of place even if the w^ords admit 
of it. Comp. de Prcescr. Har. 36. 

1 Adv. Marc. /. c. Cf. ib. iv. 2 : 
Constituimus inprimis evangelicum 
instrumentum Apostolos auctores ha- 
bere, quibus hoc munus evangelii 
promulgandi ab ipso Domino sit im- 
positum ; si et Apostolicos, non ta- 
men solos sed cum Apostolis et post 
Apostolos ; quoniam prsedicatio dis- 
cipulorum suspecta fieri posset de 
glorise studio si non assistat illi auc- 
toritas magistrorum, immo Christi, 
quse magistros Apostolos fecit. 

2 It is almost superfluous to give 
any references to the quotations from 

the acknowledged Books made by 
Irenoeus, Clement, and Tertullian ; 
but many of the following are wor- 
thy of notice on other grounds than 
merely as attesting the authenticity 
of the books. 

(a) The Four Gospels: 

Iren. c. Har. 111. 11. 8 ; Clem. 
Strom. III. 13. 93; Tert. 
adv. Marc, iv. 2. 
(/3) The^r/j.- 

Iren. ill. 15. i; QX^m. Strom. 
V. 12. 83; Tert. adv. Marc. 
V. 2. Compare the remark- 
able passage, De Prcescr. 
Hcer. 22. 
(7) The Catholic Epistles: 

I John : Iren. iii. 16. 8 ; Clem. 



a time when it was easy to try its worth. The links 
which connected them with the Apostolic age were few 
and known : and if they had not been continuous it 
would have been easy to expose the break. But their 
appeal was never gainsaid ; and it still remains as a 
sure proof that no chasm separates the old and the new 
in the history of Christianity. Those great teachers are 
themselves an embodiment of the unity and progress of 
the faith. 

This will appear in yet another light when it is 
noticed that Clement and Irenaeus speak from opposite 
quarters of Christendom, and exactly from those in 
which we have found before no traces of the circulation 
of the Apostolic writings. They tell us what was the 
fulness of the doctrine on Scripture where the Churches 
had grown up in silence. They shew in what way the 
books of the New Testament were the natural help of 
Christian men, as well as the ready armoury of Christian 

The evidence for the reception of the acknowledged 

Strom, u. 15. 66 'y Text. adv. 
Prax, 25. 
I Peter : Iran. iv. 9. 2 ; Clem. 
Fad. I. 6. 44; Tert. c. 
Gnost. 12. See however 
p. 263, n. 3. 
(5) The Fauline Epistles: 

Romans: Iren. 11. 22. 2; 
Clem. Strom, il. 21. 134. 

1 Corinthians : Iren. i. 8. 2 ; 
Clem. Strom. I. i. 10. 

2 Corinthians : Iren. in. 7. i ; 
Clem. Strom. I. r. 4. 

Galatians : Iren. ill. 7. 2 ; 

Clem. Strom. I. 8. 41. 
Ephesians : Iren. i. 8. 5 ; 

Clem. Strom. III. 4. 28. 
Philippians : Iren. I. 10. i ; 

Clem. Strom. I. 11. 53. 
Colossians : Iren. in. 14. i ; 

Clem. Strom, i. i. 15. 


1 Thessalonians : Iren. Y.6. i\ 
Clem. Strom, i. 11. 53. 

2 Thessalonians: Iren. v. 25. 

i; Clem. Strom, v. 3. 17. 

1 Timothy : Iren. i. Pref. ; 
Clem. Strom. 11. 11. 52. 

2 Timothy : Iren. ill. 14. i ; 
Clem. Strom, iii. 6. 53. 

Titus: Iren. i. 16. 3; Clem. 
Strom. I. 1 4. 59. 

The Epistle to Philemon is 
nowhere quoted by Clement 
or Irenaeus, but Tertullian, 
who examines the thirteen 
Pauline Epistles in the fifth 
book against Marcion, dis- 
tinctly recognises it. 

The Apocalypse : 

Iren. v. 35. 2 ; Clem. Fad. 11. 
10. 108; Tert. adv. Marc. 


The testi- 
mo7ty is the 
same itjhen 
its original 
sources can- 
not be 



books of the New Testament at the close of the second 
century is made more complete by the general character 
which was assigned to them. Special causes hindered 
the universal circulation of the other books, but these 
were regarded throughout the Church as parts of an 
organic whole, correlative to the Old Testament, and of 
equal weight with it. They were considered to be not 
only Apostolic, but also authoritative. * The Scriptures 
'■ are perfect,' Irenseus says, ' inasmuch as they were ut- 

* tered by the word of God and His Spirit^;' and what he 
understands by the Scriptures is evident from the course 
of his arguments, in which he makes use of the books 
of the Old and New Testaments without distinction. 

* There could not,' he elsewhere argues, ' be either more 
'than four Gospels or fewer.' That number was pre- 
figured by types in the Mosaic ritual and by analogies 
in nature, so that all are * vain and ignorant and daring 
' besides who set at nought the fundamental notion {Ilea) 
' of the Gospel V Clement again recognises generally a 
collection of ' the Scriptures of the Lord,' under the title 
of * the Gospel and the Apostle^;' and this collective 
title shews that the books were regarded as essentially 
one. But this unity was produced by 'the harmony 
' of the Law and the Prophets, and of the Apostles and 
' the Gospels in the Church*.' All alike proceeded from 
One Author: all were 'ratified by the authority of 

* Almighty Power V Tertullian marks the introduction 
of the phrase ' New Testament' as applied to the Evan- 
gelic Scriptures. ' If,' he says, ' I shall not clear up this 

1 Iren. c.Hccr.W.iZ. 2 : Scripturae 
quidem perfectae sunt, quippe a Ver- 
bo Dei et Spiritu ejus dictee. 

2 Iren. c. Hcer. III. 11. 8 sq. 

^ Strom. VIII. 3. 14 : tr^as ^o.p ai5- 
Toi>s alxP-ci'^^Tl^eiv...T6 re eiiayyiXiov 

6 Te air6<TTo\o^ KeXevovcri. Elsewhere 
Clement uses the plural diroaToXoi. 
Cf. Reuss, pp. 125, 140. 

^ S^rom. VI. II. 88. 

^ Strom, IV. I, a. 



*. point by investigations of the Old Scripture, I will take 
' the proof of our interpretation from the New Testa- 
'ment...For behold both in the Gospels and in the 
'Apostles I observe a visible and'an invisible God...V 

The clear testimony of Irenaeus, Clement, and Ter- 
tullian — clear because their writings are of considerable 
extent — finds complete support not only in the fragments 
of earlier Fathers, but also in smaller contemporary 
works. Athenagoras at Athens and Theophilus at 
Antioch make use of the same books generally, and 
treat them with the same respect ^ And from the close 
of the second century, with the single exception of the 
Apocalypse, the books thus acknowledged were always 
received without doubt until subjective criticism ventured 
to set aside the evidence of antiquity^ 

But it is necessary to repeat, what has been continu- 
ally noticed during the course of our enquiry, that this 
result was obtained gradually, spontaneously, silently ^ 
There is no evidence to shew that at any time the claims 
of the Apostolic writings to be placed on an equal foot- 
ing with those of the Old Testament, which formed 
the first Christian Bible, were deliberately discussed and 
admitted. The establishment of purely Gentile Churches, 
unfamiliar with the Jewish Scriptures, led no doubt to 
the collection of other books which answered more 

^ Adv. Prax.'iz: Si hunc articu- 
lum quaestionibus Scripturse Veteris 
non expediam, de Novo Testamento 
sumam confivmationem nostrse in- 
terpretationis, ne quodcumque in 
Filium reputo in Patrem proinde 
defendas. Ecce enim et in Evan- 
geliis et in Apostolis visibilem et 
invisibilem Deum deprehendo, sub 
manifesta et personali distinctione 
conditionis utriusque. id. c. 20 : 
totum instrumentum utriusque Tes- 
tamenti... De Fudic. i : Pudicitia... 

traliit...disciplinani per instrumen- 
tum prsedicationis et censuram per 
judicia ex utroque Testamento... 
Comp. p. 253 and notes. 

^ Compare pp. 228 ff. 

^ The assaults of the Manichees 
on the books of the New Testament 
cannot be considered an exception 
to the truth of this statement. Some- 
thing will be said about them here- 

^ Compare pp. 5 f., 12 f., 56 ff., 
230, 327 ff. 

Chap. i. 

The testi- 
mony of the 
chief Fa- 
thers sup' 
ported by 

The Canon 
of the ac- 
formed by 
consent, not 
by definite 



directly to new religious wants. The controversies with 
Ebionites and Marcionites served soon after to quicken 
the sense of the loss which followed from the neglect of 
the records of the earlier or of the later revelation. There 
must also have been frequent interchange and compari- 
son of the first Christian writings. But when full allow- 
ance is made for these occasional influences and essays 
in criticism, the fact remains that slow experience and 
spiritual instinct decided the practical judgment of the 
Church. Step by step the books which were stamped 
with Apostolic authority were separated from the mass 
of other works which contained the traditions or opinions 
of less authoritative teachers. Without controversy and 
without effort 'the Gospel and the Apostles' were recog- 
nised as inspired sources of truth in the same sense as 
' the Law and the Prophets.' In both cases the judgment 
appeared as a natural manifestation of the life of the 
Christian body, and not as a logical consequence of 
definite principles. It was an inevitable consequence of 
this progressive and vital recognition of an Apostolic 
canon that some difference of opinion as to its exact 
limits should coexist with general agreement as to its 
contents, though no difference of opinion remained as to 
the religious authority of all the books admitted in it. 
Thus doubts existed in various Churches as to the com- 
pleteness with which some books satisfied the criterion 
of Apostolicity which was made the final test of recep- 
tion ; and an examination of these doubts as to their 
ground and their prevalence, which forms the subject of 
the next Chapter, throws considerable light upon the 
mode and circumstances in which the contents of the 
New Testament were fixed. 



In Canonicis Scripturis Ecclesiarum Catholicdrum quamplurmm auctori- 
tatem \indagator solertissiinus\ sequatur. 


SEVEN books of the New Testament, as is well known, 
have been received into the Canon on evidence less 
complete than that by which the others are supported \ 
In the controversy which has been raised about their 
claims to Apostolic authority much stress has been laid 
on their internal character. But such a method of rea- 
soning is commonly inconclusive, and inferences are 
drawn on both sides with equal confidence. In every 
instance the result will be influenced by preconceived 
notions of the state of the early Church, and it is possible 
that an original source of information may be-disparaged 
because it is independent. History must deliver its full 
testimony before internal criticism can find its proper use. 
And here the real question to be answered in the case of 
the disputed books is not Why we receive them t but 
Why should we not receive them } The general agree- 
ment of the Church in the fourth century is an antece- 
dent proof of their claims ; and it remains to be seen 
whether it is set aside by the more uncertain and frag- 

1 The Epistles of James, Jude, i Peter, ^ and 3 John, to the Hebrews, 
and the Apocalypse. 


Chap. 11. 

The question 
of the dis- 
puted Books 
to be decided 




Chap. ii. 

The accept- 
atice of a 
D enter o~ 
canon no 
solution of 
the probletjt. 

mentary evidence of earlier generations. If on the con- 
trary it can be proved, that the books were known from 
the first though not known universally ; if any explana- 
tion can be given of their limited circulation ; if it can be 
shewn that they were more generally received as they 
were more widely known: then it will appear that history 
has decided the matter; and this decision of history will 
be conclusive. The idea of forming the disputed books 
into a Deutero-canon of the New Testament (advocated 
by many Roman Cathohcs in spite of the Council of 
Trent, and by many of the early reformers^), though it 
appears plausible at first sight, is evidently either a mere 
confession that the question is incapable of solution, or 
a re-statement of it in other words. The second Epistle 
of St Peter is either an authentic work of the Apostle or 
a forgery ; for in this case there can be no mean. And 
the Epistles of St James and St Jude and that to the 
Hebrews, if they are genuine, are Apostolic at least in 
the same sense as the Gospels of St Mark and St Luke 
and the Acts of the Apostles ^ It involves a manifest 
confusion of ideas to compensate for a deficiency of his- 
torical proof by a lower standard of Canonicity. The ex- 
tent of the divine authority of a book cannot be made to 
vary with the completeness of the proof of its genuine- 
ness. The genuineness must be admitted before the 

1 Even Augustine appears to have 
favoured this view: Tenebit igitur 
[Scripturarum indagator] hunc mo- 
dum in Scripturis Canonicis ut eas 
quae ab omnibus accipiuntur Ec- 
clesiis Catholicis praeponat iis quas 
quKdam non accipiunt ; in iis vero 
quae non accipiuntur ab omnibus 
prseponat eas quas plures graviores- 
que accipiunt iis quas pauciores mi- 
norisque auctoritatis Ecclesise tenant 
{De Doctr. Ckr. ii. 12). In spite of 
the authority however it is clear 

that such a statement can rest on 
no logical basis. 

2 I do not by any means intend to 
assert that every work of an Apostle 
or Apostolic writer as such would 
have formed part of the Canon ; in- 
deed I believe that many Apostolic 
writings may have been lost when 
they had wrought their purpose, but 
that these books have received the 
recognition of the Church in such a 
manner that if genuine they must 
be Canonical. 




authority can have any positive value, which from its 
nature cannot admit of degrees; and till the genuineness 
be established the authority remains in abeyance. 

The evidence which has been collected hitherto for 
the Apostolicity of the disputed books may be briefly 
summed up as follows. The Epistle to the Hebrews is 
certainly referred to by Clement of Rome, and probably 
by Justin Martyr; it is contained in the Peshito^ though 
probably the version was made by a separate translator ; 
but it is omitted in the fragmentary Canon of Muratori, 
and, as it appears, it was wanting also in the Old Latin 
version \ Except the opinion of Tertullian, which has 
been mentioned by anticipation, nothing has been found 
tending to determine its authorship. The Epistle of 
St James is referred to by Hermas and probably by Cle- 
ment, and is included in the Peshito (according to some 
copies as the work of St James the Elder) ; but it is not 
found in the Muratorian Canon, nor in the Old Latin}. 
The Epistle of St Jude and probably the two shorter 
Epistles of St John are supported by the authority of 
the Muratorian Canon and of the Old Latin version; but 
they are not found in the PesJtito^. The Apocalypse 
is distinctly mentioned by Justin as the work of the 
Apostle John, and Papias and Melito bear witness to its 
authority: it is included in the Muratorian Canon, but 
not in the Peshito^. No certain trace has yet been found 
of the second Epistle of St Peter^ 

From this general summary it will be seen that up to 
this time the Epistle of St James and that to the Hebrews 
rest principally on the authority of the Eastern (Syrian) 
Church : the second and third Epistles of St John and 

1 Cf. pp. 50, 170, 218, 238 n. 3, 
260, 265 ff. 
^ Cf. pp. 48, 201, 218, 244, 265. 


3 Cf. pp. 218, 244, 258. 

4 Cf. pp. 77, 168, 218, 222, 244. 

5 Cf. pp. 223 n. 5, 330 n. I. 

A A 

Chap. ii. 

A summary 
of the evi- 
dence np to 
this point. 
The Epistle 
to the He- 

The Epistles 
of St James, 

2 and 3 

The Apoca- 

to Churches. 



Chap. ii. 

The itnpo^-t- 
ance of the 
•witness of 
t/te A lexan- 



c. 165 — 220 

the Epistle of St Jude on that of the Western Church : 
the Apocalypse on that of the Church of Asia Minor. 
It remains to inquire how far these lines of evidence are 
extended and confirmed in the great divisions of the 
Church up to the close of the third century\ 

§ I. The Alexandrine Church, 

The testimony of the Alexandrine Church, as has 
been noticed already, is of the utmost importance, owing 
to the natural advantages of its position and the conspi- 
cuous eminence of its great teachers during the third 
century. Never perhaps have two such men as Clement 
and Origen contributed in successive generations to build 
up a Christian Church in wisdom and humility. No two 
fathers ever did more to vindicate the essential harmony 
of Christian truth with the lessons of history and the 
experience of men ; and in spite of their many faults and 
ex;aggerations, perhaps no influence on the whole has 
been less productive of eviP. 

No catalogue of the Books of the New Testament 
occurs in the writings of Clement; but Eusebius has given 
a summary of his ' Hypotyposes ' or ' Outlines ' which 
serves in some measure to supply the defect^ 'Clement 
'in his Outlines, to speak generally, has given concise 
' explanations of all the Canonical Scriptures {iracn)^ rrjfi 
' ivhiaOr^Kov ypacfyrj^;) without omitting the disputed books : 
' I mean the Epistle of Jude and the remaining Catholic 
* Epistles, as well as the Epistle of Barnabas and the so- 

^ On the partial use of Apocry- to any of the disputed books. Cf. 

phal or Ecclesiastical writings as of Lardner, Pt. Ii. c. 18, § 12; supr. 

authority by different Fathers, see pp. 229 f. 

App. B. 2 The testimony of Pantasnus (?) 

2 Athenagoras is sometimes classed to the Epistle to the Hebrews as a 

with the Alexandrine school, but his work of St Paul is noticed on the 

writings contain no clear references following page. 




* called Revelation of Peter. And moreover he says that 

* the Epistle to the Hebrews is Paul's, but that it was 
' written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew dialect, and that 
' Luke having carefully {^lXotl/jlco^) translated it pub- 
*lished it for the use of the Greeks. And that it is 
'owing to the fact that he translated it that the com- 
'plexion ('x^pcora) of this Epistle and that of the Acts 
' is found to be the same. Further he remarks that it is 
' natural that the phrase Paul an Apostle does not occur 
' in the superscription, for in writing to Hebrews, who 
'had conceived a prejudice against him and suspected 
'him, he was very wise in not repelling them at the 
'beginning by affixing his name. And then a little 
' further on he (Clement) adds : And as the blessed 
' presbyter Q. Pantaenus) before now used to say, since 

* the Lord, as being the Apostle of the Almighty, was 
' sent to the Hebrews, Paul through his modesty, inas- 
' much as he was sent to the Gentiles, does not inscribe 
'himself Apostle of the Hebrews, both on account of 
' the honour due to the Lord, and because it was a work 
' of supererogation that he addressed an Epistle to the 
' Hebrews also {Ik nrepiovo-im kcli toI'^ ^^^paioi^ iincrTek- 
'\e(,v) since he was herald and Apostle of the Gentiles V 
The testimony to the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews which is contained in this passage is evidently 
of the greatest value. There can be little doubt that the 
' blessed presbyter ' was Pantaenus; and thus the tradition 
is carried up almost to the Apostolic age. With regard 
to the other disputed books, the words of Eusebius imply 
some distinction between ' the Epistle of Jude and the 

' Catholic Epistles,' and ' the Epistle of Barnabas and the 

' Revelation of Peter.' But the whole statement is very 

loosely worded, and its true meaning must be sought by 

1 Euseb. IL E. vi. 14. 

AA 2 

Chap. ii. 

Hebr. iii. 

/^//^^ Epistle 
to the He- 

to the Catho- 
lic Epistles. 



comparison with other evidence. Fortunately this is not 
wanting. Photius after commenting very severely on 
the doctrinal character of the Oiitli7ies adds ; ' Now the 
' whole scope of the book consists in giving as it were in- 
' terpretations of Genesis, of Exodus, of the Psalms ; of 
' the Epistles of St Paul, and of the Catholic Epistles, 
' and of Ecclesiasticus\' The last clause is very obscure; 
but whatever may be meant by it, it is evident that the 
detailed enumeration is most imperfect, for the Oiitliiies 
certainly contained notes on the four Gospels. But if 
Clement had distinctly rejected any book which Photius 
held to be Canonical, or treated any Apocryphal book as 
part of Holy Scripture, it is likely that he would have 
mentioned the fact ; and thus negatively his testiniony 
modifies that of Eusebius, at least so far as that seems to 
imply that Clement treated the Epistle of Barnabas and 
the Revelation of Peter as Canonical. A third account 
of the Outlines further limits the statements of Eusebius 
and Photius. Cassiodorus, the chief minister of Theo- 
doric, in his * Introduction to the reading of Holy 
Scripture ' says : * Clement of Alexandria a presbyter, 
'who is also called Stromateus, has made some com- 
' ments on the Canonical Epistles, that is to say on the 
'first Epistle of St Peter, the first and second of St 
'John, and the Epistle of St James, in pure and elegant 
'language. Many things which he has said in them 
' shew refinement, but some a want of caution : and we 
'have caused his comments to be rendered into Latin, 
' so that by the omission of some trifling details which 

^ Phot. Cod. 109. Bunsen, Anal. Xoi» t6/aos ^'^KKK-qaLaariKoz is a mar- 

Ante-Nic. I. p. 165. For koX tQ>v kolBo- vellous phrase. The reference to the 

\ikQ)v koX toO iKKKrjcriaa-TLKoO (Bekk. book of Ecclesiasticus in such a con- 

eKKXrjcnaaTov) Bunsen prints /cat tQv nexion, however perplexing, is not 

Kad. Kal ToO KaOdXov rdfj-ov 'Ek- without parallel. Cf. pp. 218 ff., 384. 
K\i)a lacTLKOv. But surely 6 Kadb- 




' might cause offence^hls teaching may be imbibed with 
'greater security \' There can be Httle doubt that the 
Latin Adiimbrationes which are given in the editions 
of Clement are the notes of which Cassiodorus speaks. 
There is however one discrepancy between the descrip- 
tion and the Adiimbrationes. These are written on the 
first Epistle of St Peter, the Epistle of St Jude (not St 
James), and the first two Epistles of St John ; but in 
general character they answer to the idea which might 
be formed of the work, and Cassiodorus himself is by no 
means so accurate a writer that his testimony should be 
decisive^ The Adumbrationes contain numerous refer- 
ences to Scripture, and expressly assign the Epistle to 
the Hebrews to St PauP. The scattered testimonies 
which are gathered from the text of Clement's extant 
works recognise the same books. He makes several 
quotations from the Epistle to the Hebrews as St Paul's*, 
from the Epistle of St Jude^ and one among many others 
from the first Epistle of St John which implies the ex- 
istence of a second^; while he uses the Apocalypse 
frequently, assigning it to the Apostle St John''; but he 
nowhere makes any reference to the Epistle of St James^ 
There can then be little doubt that the reading in Cas- 
siodorus is false, and that 'Jude' should be substituted 

Chap. ii. 

^ The passages are printed at 
length by Bunsen, ib. pp. 323 sqq.; 
and in the editions of Clement. 
Klotz, IV. pp. 52 sqq. 

2 It may be added that Cassiodo- 
rus omits Jude in his list of the 
books of the New Testament. See 
App. D. 

^ But it is added that it was trans- 
lated by St Luke : Lucas quoque et 
Actus Apostolorum stylo exsecutus 
agnoscitur et Pauli ad Hebrgeos in- 
terpretatus epistolam. Cf. p. 355. 

4 Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. 8. 62 : 

naC\os...TOis'Ej9joabis ypacpwv. 

^ Strom. III. 2. II : ^tI to{itwv'7rpo(pr]TtKii}S 'loidav ev rrj eVt- 
(XToXrj elprjuivaL. 

^ Strom. II. 15. 66: (paiverai 8k Kal 
'IcodvvTjs iv TTJ fxeij^ouL €Tn<XTo\7J ras 
diacp'jpas tQv afiapTiQv iKdiddcKUv. 
Comp. p. 384, n. I. 

'' Feed. II. 12. 119.^ Strom, vi. 13. 
107 : ci's (pTjaiv ev ry aTOKoXvypei 6 

^ The instances commonly quoted 
are rightly set aside by Lardner, 11. 
22, §8. 



Chap. ii. 


186—353 A. D. 

How Euse- 
/>tz(s records 
his evidence 
in rejerence 
to the Gos- 

the Apostolic 
Epistles ; _ 

for 'James;' and thus the different 4ines of evidence are 
found to coincide exactly. Clement, it appears, recog- 
nised as Canonical all the books of the New Testament 
except the Epistle of St James, the second Epistle of St 
Peter, and the third Epistle of St John. And his silence 
as to these can prove no more than that he was un- 
acquainted with them\ 

Origen completed nobly the work which Clement 
began. During a long life of labour and suffering he 
learnt more fully than any one who went before him the 
depth and wisdom of the Holy Scriptures ; and his testi- 
mony to their divine claims is proportionately more 
complete and systematic. Eusebius has collected the 
chief passages in which he speaks on the subject of the 
Canon, and though much that he says refers to the 
Acknowledged Books, his evidence is too important to 
be omitted. Like the Fathers who preceded him, he 
professes only to repeat the teaching which he had re- 
ceived. ' In the first book of his Commentaries on 
' Matthew,' Eusebius writes, ' preserving the rule of the 
'Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, 
' writing to this effect : I have learnt by tradition con- 
' cerning the four Gospels, which alone are uncontroverted 
'in the Church of God spread under heaven, that that 
' according to Matthew, who was once a publican but 
' afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first ; 
'...that according to Mark second;... that according to 
' Luke third ;...that according to John last of alP.' 

' The same writer/ Eusebius continues, * in the fifth 

1 Clement's use of the writings of tions of Mathias) will be considered 
the sub-apostolic Fathers (Clement in App. B. It is enough to notice 
of Rome, Hermas, Barnabas) and of that there is no evidence to shew 
certain Apocryphal books (the Cos- that he attributed to them a decisive 
pels according to the Hebrews and authority, as he did to the writings 
the Egyptians, the Preaching and of the Apostles in the strictest sense, 
the Apocalypse of Peter, the Tradi- ^ Euseb. H. E. vi. 25. 




' book of his Commentaries on the Gospel of John says 
' this of the Epistles of the Apostles : Now he who was 

* m-ade fit to be a minister of the new covenant^ not of the 
' letter but of the spirit, Paul, who fully preached the 
' Gospel from Jerusalem round about as far as lUyricum, 
' did not even write to all the Churches which he taught, 
'and sent moreover but few lines (crt;^©!;?) to those to 

* which he wrote. Peter again, on whom the Church of 

* Christ is built against which the gates of hell shall not 
'prevail^ has left behind one Epistle generally acknow- 

* ledged ; perhaps also a second, for it is a disputed ques- 
' tion. Why need I speak about him who reclined upon 

* the breast of Jesus, John, who has left behind a single 

* Gospel, though he confesses that he could make so 

* many as not eve7i the world could contain ? He wrote 
' moreover the Apocalypse, having been commanded to 
' keep silence, and not to write the voices of the seven 
' thunders. He has left behind also one Epistle of very 

* few lines : perhaps too [eo-rco Be /cat Bevr.^) a second 

* and third ; for all do not allow that these are genuine ; 
' nevertheless both together do not contain a hundred 
' lines.' 

* In addition to these statements [Origen] thus dis- 
' cusses the Epistle to the Hebrews in his Homilies upon 
' it : Every one who is competent to judge of differences 
' of diction {(ppaaecdv) would acknowledge that the style 
' (%apa«T^/9 T^9 Xefeot)?) of the Epistle entitled to the 
' Hebrews does not exhibit the Apostle's rudeness and 
' simplicity in speech {to iv Xoyo) ISlcotlkov), though he 
' acknowledged himself to be simple in his speech, that is 

* in his diction (t^ (ppdaei), but it is more truly Greek in 
' its composition (crvvOeaeL Tri<^ Xefew?). And again, that 
' the thoughts {voijfxaTo) of the Epistle are wonderful, 

1 Comp. £j>. ad Afric. c. 14. 

Chap. ii. 


John xxi. 25. 

the Apoca- 
lypse ; 
Apoc. X. 4. 

the Epistle 
to the He- 



' and not second to the acknowledged writings of the 
' Apostle, every one who pays attention to the reading 
' of the Apostle's works would also grant to be true. 

* And after other remarks he adds : If I were to express 
' my own opinion I should say that the thoughts are 
' the Apostle's, but the diction and composition that of 

* some one who recorded from memory the Apostle's 
'■ teaching, and as it were illustrated with a brief Com- 
' mentary the sayings of his master {a'woybvr]ixovevGavTo<i. . . 
' KoX wairepel (T')(o\io'ypa(^rjcravTo^). If then any Church 

* hold this Epistle to be Paul's, we cannot find fault with 
' it for so doing (evBoKL/jieLTco koL iirl rovro)) ; for it was 
' not without good reason {ovk eUrj) that the men of old 
' time have handed it down as Paul's. But who it was 
' who wrote the Epistle God only knows certainly. The 
' account {lo-ropla) which has reached us is [manifold], 
' some saying that Clement who became Bishop of Rome 
' wrote it, while others assign it to Luke the author of 
'the Gospel and the Acts\' 

Much has been written since upon the subject with 
which Origen deals thus wisely, but not one step has 
been surely made beyond the limit which he fixes. 
Others have expounded the arguments on which he 
touches, but without adding anything to their real force. 
New conjectures have been made, more groundless than 
those which he mentions, but his practical conclusion 
remains unshaken. The Epistle though not St Paul's 
in the strictest sense is eminently Pauline ; and from the 
time of Origen it was generally received as St Paul's in 
this wider view of authorship by the Alexandrine Church, 

1 Comp. Hier. in Eph. c. ii. 15 m Is. c. Ivii. 13 f. (p. 677) de quo ad 

(p. 583) : Nescio quid tale et in alia Hebrseos loquitur qui scribit episto- 

epistola (si quis tamen earn recipit).. . lam (Hebr. xii. 22 f.>. These phrases 

Paulus subindicat (Hebr. xi. 39 f.) J are probably due to Origen. 




and thence in the fourth century by the great scholars 
of the West. 

There still remain two passages in Rufinus' version^ 
of the Homilies on Genesis and Joshua in which we find 
an incidental enumeration of the different authors and 
books of the New Testament. It is however impossible 
to insist on these as of primary authority. Rufinus, 
as is well known, was not content to render the simple 
words of Origen, but sought in several points to bring 
them into harmony with the current belief; and the 
comparison of some fragments of the Greek text of one 
of the Homilies with his rendering of it shews clearly 
that he has allow^ed himself in these the same licence as 
in his other translations^ Still there is something of 
Origen's manner throughout the pieces ; and in his 
popular writings he quotes parts of the disputed books 
without hesitation. 

The first passage is contained in a spiritual explana- 
tion^ of the narrative concerning the wells which were 
opened by Isaac after the Philistines had stopped them, 
and the new wells which he made. Moses, Origen tells 
us, was one of the servants of Abraham who first opened 
the fountain of the Law. Such too were David and the 
Prophets. But the Jews closed up those sources of life, 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament, with earthly 
thoughts ; and when the antitype of Isaac had sought to 
lay them open, the Philistines strove with him. ^ So 
'then he dug new wells; and so did his servants. 
' Isaac's servants were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John : 

^ There can be no doubt that he in se divinte sapientise nihilque operis 

was the author of it. Cf. Huet, sancti Spiritus continere {Horn, in 

Origen. ill. 1. Gen. ii. 1). 

2 For instance, he adds such ^ Horn, in Gen. Xiil. 2. A differ- 

phrases as Sanctus Apostolus, and ent explanation of the wells is given 

translates m oix «7"* ^^ Mwi^cr^wj Select, in Gen.Yill.^.l*] [edi.'Lomxa..). 
(rvyypdixfji.aTa by Scripta Mosis nihil 

Chap. ii. 

TAe testimo' 
flies in the 

The passage 
fro7n a Ho- 
mily on 
Gen. xxvi. 
18 sqq. 



' his servants are Peter, James, and Jude : his servant 
' also is the Apostle Paul ; who all dig wells of the New 
' Testament. But those who mind earthly thi?igs strive 
' ever for these also, and suffer not the new to be formed, 
' nor the old to be cleansed. They gainsay the sources 

* opened in the Gospel : they oppose those opened by 
' the Apostles' {Evangelicis piUeis contradictmt : Apo- 
stolicis adversantur). 

The last quotation which I shall make is equally 
characteristic of Origen's style. He has been speaking 
of the walls of Jericho which fell down before the blasts 
of the trumpets of the priests. * So too,' he says\ 'our 

* Lord, whose advent was typified by the son of Nun, 

* when he came sent his Apostles as priests bearing 
' well-wrought (ductiles) trumpets. Matthew first sound- 
' ed the priestly trumpet in his Gospel. Mark also, 
' Luke and John, each gave forth a strain on their 
' priestly trumpets. Peter moreover sounds loudly on 
' the twofold"^ trumpet of his Epistles : and so also James 
' and Jude. Still the number is incomplete, and John 
' gives forth the trumpet-sound in his Epistles and 

* Apocalypse ; and Luke while describing the Acts of the 
' Apostles. Lastly however came he. who said : / think 
' that God hath set forth us Apostles last of all, and thun- 
' dering on the fourteen trumpets of his Epistles threw 
' down even to the ground the walls of Jericho, that 
' is to say all the instruments of idolatry and the doc- 
' trines of philosophers.' 

Such appears to have been Origen's popular teaching 
on the Canon, in discourses which aimed at spiritual in- 
struction rather than at critical accuracy ; and it remains 
to be seen how far these general outlines are filled up 

^ Horn, in Jos. vii. i. has a very remarkable reading, ex 

2 Duabus tubis. One Manuscript tribus. 




in detail by special testimonies. The first place is natu- 
rally due to references contained in the Greek text of 
his writings ; and it is indeed on these only that absolute 
reliance can be placed. It is evident then from this 
kind of evidence, no less than from all other, that 
like Clement he received the Apocatypse as an un- 
doubted work of the Apostle St John\ Like Clement 
also he quotes the Epistle of St Jude several times, 
and expressly as the work of 'the Lord's brother;' but 
he implies in one place the existence of doubts as to 
its authority^ In addition to this he refers to the 
' Epistle in circulation under the nameof James^;' but he 
nowhere I believe either quotes or mentions the second 
Epistle of St Peter^ or the two shorter Epistles of St 
John. On the contrary, he quotes the Epistle of Peter^ 
and the Epistle of jfohn^ in such a manner as at least 
to shew that the other Epistles were not familiarly 

The Latin version of the Homilies supplies in part 

^ Comm. in yoan. T. I. 14: <l>y\'y\v 
ovv €V Ty diroKoXv^et 6 toO Ze^edaLov 

2 Compi. in Matt. T. x. 17 (Matt, 
xiii. 55? 56) : kaX 'louSas ^ypaxpev 
ivKTToX'qv oXiyoarixoy fJ.kv TreTrXripco- 
fiivrjv 8^ rrjs ovpavLov x^pi-TO^ ippojini- 
v(i}v \ T. XVII. 30: et 5^ Kal 
T-qv 'lovoa irpoaoird tls iina-ToKyjv ... 

3 Comm. in Joan. T. xix. 6 : ws 
h rfj (pepofiiuri 'IaK(Jo^ov iiricrToXrj 
dviyvwfiev. Cf. T. XX. 10 {virb twv 
irpocdexo/J'^fiou to' Tr/crrtsK.r.X., James 
ii. 20). He once quotes it without 
further remark : ws Trapoi, 'la/cw^t^, 
Select, in Fs. xxx. T. xii. p. 129, but 
the authority of detached Scholia is 
questionable. On the other hand he 
does not quote James i. 17 when 
discussing at length the conception of 
God as Light. It may be concluded 
from one passage in his Commenta- 
ries on St Matthew (xiii. 55, 56), 

in which he notices that the St Jude 
there mentioned was the author of 
the Epistle which bore his name, and 
St James the one to whom St Paul 
refers in Gal. i. 19, that he was not 
inclined to believe that the Epistle 
of St James was written by the 
Lord's brother. 

^ It is impossible to insist confi- 
dently on the doubtful reading. 
Cojnm. in Matt. T. XV. 27: airb rrjs 
IleTpov TrpcoTrjs eTrtaToXijs. Tl^rpov 
is apparently omitted in the Manu- 
scripts. Yet see Acts ii. 27, alpiaui 
iTreLffdyoi'Tes (2 Pet. ii. i). 

5 Sekct. in Ps. iii. (T. xi. 420): 
/caret ret Xi.yoiieva kv ry KadoXiKrj 
eTTLCTToXy irapd t(^ UiTpip. Cf. Comm. 
in Joan. T. vi. 18. 

6 Comm. in Matt. T. xvii. 19: 
t6 dirh ToO 'Icijdvvov KadoXiKrjs iirt- 
ctoXtjs. ib. T. XV. 31 : 17 ^l(j3dvvov 
iiriaToXi]. Yet cf. p. 366, n. 3. 

Chap. ii. 

Tke Apoca- 

^jf Jude. 

.$■/ James. 


2 Peter 

2 and 3 John. 

/« t/te Latin 



Chap. ii. 

2 Peter. 
St James. 

The Epistle 
to the He- 

Sjimmary of 
Origen's opi- 
nion on the 
New Testa- 
ment Canon 

what is wanting in the Greek Commentaries. It contains 
several distinct quotations of the second Epistle of St 
PeterS and of the Epistle of St James, who is described 
in one place as ' the brother of the Lord,' but generally 
only as 'the Apostle^;' but even in this there is no refer- 
ence to the shorter Epistles of St John. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is quoted continually 
both in the Greek and in the Latin text, sometimes as 
the work of St Paul, sometimes as the work of the Apo- 
stle, and sometimes without any special designation^ 

On the whole then there can be little doubt as to 
Origen's judgment on the New Testament Canon. He 
was acquainted with all the books which are received at 
present, and received as Apostolic all those which were 
recognised by Clement. The others he used, but with 
a certain reserve and hesitation, arising from a want of 
information as to their history, rather than from any 
positive grounds of suspicion^ 

^ Horn, in Levit. iv. 4 : Petrus sub-apostolic Fathers (Clement of 

dixit (2 Pet. i. 4). Cf. Comm. in Rome, Hermas, Barnabas) and Apo- 

Roni. IV. g. Horn, in Num. xiii. 8: cryphal Books (the Gospel according 

ut ait quodam in loco scriptura to the Hebrews, the Preaching of 

(2 Pet. ii. 16). Cf. Horn, xviii. s.f. Peter, the Acts of Paul) will be 

Thus also de Princ. II. 5. 3 : Petrus noticed in App. B. 
in prima epistola... One famous passage in which Ori- 

2 Comm. %n Rom. iv. 8 ; James iv. 4. gen contrasts the Canonical Gospels 

3 The passage quoted by Euse- with others deserves to be quoted, 
bius from a Homily on the He- In commenting on Luke i. i he says 
brews gives probably Origen's ma- ' The phrase have taken in hand im- 
ture judgment on the authorship of ' plies a tacit accusation of those 
the Epistle. In the earlier letter to * who rushed hastily to write Gospels 
Africanus he says, after quoting 'without the grace of the Holy 
Hebr. xi. 37 : dXX' et/coj riva Q\iQ6- * Spirit. Matthew and Mark and 
ixevov airb rrjs els raOra diroSei^eojs 'Luke and John did not take in 
cruyxpTycracr^at ry ^ovXev/xart tCov ' hand to write their Gospels, but 
adeTovvrwv rrjv eiricrToKrjv ws ov Ilai^Xy ' wrote them being full of the Holy 

yeypafifjt.^ur]v' irpos 8v dWo)v Xdyu'v 
/car idiav xpTj^o^aei' els dtrdSeL^Lv roO 
eXvai HavKov ttjv e-maTok-fiv (T. XVII. 
p. 3 1 ). Though the date of this letter 

'Spirit The Church has four 

' Gospels, heresies very many, of 

' which one is entitled according to 

the Egyptians^ another according to 

is probably A. d. 240, the Homilies ^ the twelve Apostles Four Gospel 

were not written till after 245. 

only are approved, out of which 

^ Origen's quotations from the * we must bring forth points of teach- 




Clement divided the Christian books into two great 
divisions, the Gospel and the Apostle or the Apostles. 
Origen repeats the same classification^ ; but he also 
advanced a step further, and found that these were 
united in one whole as ' Divine Scriptures of the New 
* Covenant V written by the same Spirit as those before 
Christ's coming ^ and giving a testimony by which every 
word should be established ^ 

Among the most distinguished scholars of Origen 
was Dionysius, who was promoted to the presidency of 
the Catechetical School about the year 231 A.D., and 
afterwards was chosen Bishop of Alexandria. During 
an active and troubled episcopate he maintained an inti- 
mate communication with Rome, Asia Minor, and Pales- 
tine ; and in one place (referring to the schism of 
Novatus) he expresses his joy at *the unity and love 
' everywhere prevalent in all the districts of Syria, in 
'Arabia, Mesopotamia, Pontus, and Bithynia,' and 'in 
' all the churches of the Eastl' Important fragments of 
his letters still remain, which contain numerous refer- 

Chap. ii. 
as a whole. 

'ing under the person of our Lord 
'and Saviour. There is I know a 

* Gospel which is called according to 

* Thomas, and [one] according to Ma- 

* thias ; and there are many others 
' which we read, lest we should seem 

* to be unacquainted with any point 

* for the sake of those who think they 
' possess some valuable knowledge if 
'they are acquainted with them. 

* But in all these we approve nothing 

* else but that which the Church ap- 

* proves, that is, four Gospels only as 
'proper to be received' {Hojn. i. in 
Luc). The passage may stand as a 
complete explanation of his judgment 
and his practice. 

^ Clem. Strom, vil. 3. 14; v. 5. 
31 ; VI. 2. 88. Oxig.LLom. injerem. 
XXI. f. See p. 348. 

- De Princip. iv. i [Philoc. c. i) : 

..Ak tQiv ireTLffTevfiifcav rjfuu ehai 
ddwv ypacpQu ttjs re Xeyofxivrjs ira- 
Xatas diadrjKrjs Kol tt)s KoKoufjL^PTjs 


^ De Princip. IV. 16 : ov fxbvov bk 
irepl rOiv irpb r^s irapovaias ravra rb 
TTveufia (^K0v6/xr)(T€v, dXX are rb airb 
TUYxdi'OJ' Kal airb rod eybs dedv, rb 
dfiOLOU Kal eirl tQv evayyeXiuv ire- 
irolrjKe Kal iwl tCjv d-jroGTbXuJv. Comp. 
Comm. in Joh. i. 15. 

^ Ho7n. in Jerem. i. The well- 
known reference of Origen to the 
Shepherd of Hermas ( Comm. in Rom. 
xvi. 14. Cf. Comm. in Matt. T. xiv. 
ii) evidently expresses a private 
opinion on the book, and by no 
means places it on an equality with 
the Canonical Scriptures. Cf. App. B. 

5 Euseb. H. E. vi. 46 ; vii. 4, 5. 


248 A.D. 



ences to the New Testament ; and among other quota- 
tions he makes use of the Epistle to the Hebrews as St 
Paul's^ of the Epistle of St James', and in his remarks 
on the Apocalypse mentions * the second and third 
' Epistles circulated as works of John' in such a way as 
to imply that he was inclined to receive them as authen- 
tic^ His criticism on the Apocalypse has been already 
noticed. He had weighed the objections which were 
brought against it, and found them insufficient to over- 
throw its Canonicity^ though he believed that it was not 
the work of the Apostle, and admitted that it was full of 
difficulties which he was unable to explain. ' I will not 
' deny,' he says, ' that the author of the Apocalypse was 

* named John, for I fully allow (avvatvoo) that it is the work 
'of some holy and inspired man {dyiov...Ttvd<i koI Oeo- 
' irvevcTTov) ; but I should not easily concur in the belief 
' that this John was the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, the 
' brother of James, who wrote the Gospel and the Catho- 
' lie Epistle.' And he then adds the grounds of his 
opinion : ' for I conclude from a comparison of the cha- 

* racter of the writings, and from the form of the language, 

* and the general construction of the book [of the Reve - 

^ Dion. ap. Euseb. H. E. VI. 41 : 
TT]v apirayriv tQp virapxovTiav ofJLoius 
iKelvois oh Kul HavXos eixaprvprjcre 
fxera xapas irpoaedi^avro. Cf. Hebr. 
X. 34. 

^ Comtn. in Luc. xxii. (Gallandi, 
BibL Pp. XIV. App. p. 117. Cf. 
Proleg. V.) 6 7a/) ^eos, (prjciv, dvei- 
paaros €(ttl KaKcop. James i. 13. 

3 Dion. ap. Euseb. H. E. vii. 25 : 
dW ovd^ iv ry devripg, (pepofi^vr} 
'Iwdppov Kul Tpirrj Kalroi ^paxeiais 
oOaais eirLCTToKais 6 'Icjolpptjs opofiacTl 
irpoKeiTai aW clpcopv/jHos 6 irpec^vTe- 
pos yeypaiTTai. Though the context 
implies that he held these letters to 
be St John's, yet he afterwards 

speaks of * his Epistle,' as if he had 
written but one {r} iTncToKr], 77 Ka- 
doKcKTJ eiTKTToKi}). This may serve 
to explain the similar usage of Ori- 
gen. Cf. p. 363. This mode of 
speaking is most remarkably illus- 
trated in the records of the seventh 
Council of Carthage (a. d. 256, 
Routh, Rell. Sacr. iii. p. 130), where 
the second Epistle of St John is thus 
quoted : loannes Apostolus in epi- 
stola sua posuit dicens (2 John 10, 11). 
In the fifth Council (Routh, p. iii) 
the first Epistle is quoted in the 
same words. 
4 Cf. pp. 277 f. 




' lation] that [the John there mentioned] is not the 
'same\' In this passage Dionysius makes no reference 
to any historical evidence in support of the opinion 
which he advocates, and consequently his objections 
gain no weight from his position. But the fact that he 
urged them is of great interest, as shewing the liberty 
which was still allowed in dealing with the Canon. He 
set forth the absolute authority of that which ' could be 
' proved by demonstration and teaching of the Holy 
'Scriptures'^:' he regarded it as a worthy task even in 
small matters to ' harmonize the words of the Evangelists 
* with judgment and good faith^:' he allowed the Apoca- 
lypse itself to be the work of an inspired man ; but 
nevertheless he regarded the special authorship of the 
sacred books as a proper subject for critical inquiry ^ 
And this is entirely consistent with the belief that the 
Canon was fixed practically by the common use of 
Christians, and not definitely marked out by any special 
investigation — that it was formed by instinct, and not 
by argument. Dionysius exercised a free judgment on 
Scripture within certain limits, but these limits them- 
selves were already recognised. 

It does not appear that the opinion of Dionysius on 
the authorship of the Apocalypse made any permanent 

^ Dion. ap. Euseb. H. E. I. c. : 
reKfiaipo/JLai yap ^k re rod ijOovs e/ca- 
ripiov Kai Tov tQ)v \6ycjv etdovs koI 
T7]S TOV pLJ3\iov Ste^ayoryTJs Xeyo- 
fX^u7]S fxrj rbv avrbu dvai. The whole 
passage is too long to quote, but 
will repay a careful perusal. I do not 
think there is any other piece of 
pure criticism in the early Fathers 
to compare with it for style and 

2 Dion. ap. Euseb. H. E. vii. 24 : 
...rdrats dirodel^ea-i Kal didaa-KoKlais 
Tuv ayluv ypacpCjv avvcaravofiepa 


3 Dion. EJ>. Canon. (Routh, RelL 
Sacr. III. p. 225): KoX /j.7]de 5ia(pcj- 
ve7v fJLTjd^ evavTLOvadai rods evayye- 
Xiaras irphs aXKrjkovs vzro\d.^(i)H€V, 
dXX' el Kal fxiKpoKoyia rts dvat do^ei 
Trepl rb ^rp-ovixevov...rifieh evypufiovus 
TO. XexBeyra Kal TricTUS apfuxraL irpo- 
dvix-rjduixev. He is referring to the 
accounts of the Resurrection. 

* It must be noticed that Diony- 
sius himself quoted the Apocalypse 
with respect : Euseb. II. E. vii. 10 
ad init. 

Chap. ii. 

Later A lex- 




Chap. ii. 

265 A.D. 

Th eognos- 



300 A.D. 

Stnnmary of 
the judg- 
tnejit of the 

impression on the Alexandrine Church ; but indeed the 
few fragments of later writers by which it is represented 
contain very little that illustrates the history of the 
disputed books. In the meagre remains which survive 
of the writings of Pierius, Theonas^ (the successor of 
Dionysius in the Episcopate), and Phileas, I have noticed 
nothing which bears upon it. Theognostus, who was at 
the head of the Catechetical School towards the close of 
the third century, makes use of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews as authoritative Scripture^ ; and Peter Martyr 
(the successor of Theonas) refers to it expressly as the 
work of the Apostlel 

The testimony of the Alexandrine Church to the 
New Testament Canon is thus generally uniform and 
clear. In addition to the acknowledged books the 
Epistle to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse were re- 
ceived there as divine Scripture even by those who 
doubted their immediate Apostolic origin. The two 
shorter Epistles of St John were well known and com- 
monly received* ; but no one except Origen, so far as 
can be discovered now, was acquainted with the second 

^ One passage of his famous letter 
to Lucianus deserves to be quoted. 
As one step by which he was to 
bring his master to the faith it is 
said : laudabitur et interim Evange- 
litim Apostolusque pro divinis oracu- 
lis (Routh, Rell. Sacr. ill. p. 443). 
The common use of this collective 
term, as has been noticed before 
(p. 348), marks a period in the history 
of the Canon. 

2 Routh, Rell. Sacr. III. 409: kirl 
hh rots yevaaixifOLS rrjs ovpavlov Sw- 
peas Kol reXeLioOeicni' ovdefjLia irepiXei- 
Trerat <xvyyvibp.r}s aTroKoyia Kal ira- 
pairrjo-is (Hebr. vi. 4). 

3 Routh, JielL Sacr. iv. 35: d 
fJLT^, ws X^7et d dTToaroXos, iiriXLTroL 5' 
dv rjfxas dcrf/ovfiivovs 6 x/^dws (Hebr. 

xi. 32). The succession of testimony 
does not end here. Alexander who 
became bishop about 313 A.D., and 
Athanasius who succeeded him 
(326 — 373 A. D.), both quote the 
Epistle as St Paul's. And Eutha- 
lius {c. 460 A.D.) only mentions the 
doubts which had been raised on the 
question to refute them (Credner, 
Einleit. ii. 498 f. ). 

* Alexander, who has been men- 
tioned above, in a letter preserved 
by Socrates quotes the second Epi- 
stle as the work of 'the Blessed 
'John.' Socr. H. E. i. 6. 30. His 
testimony is valuable as indicating 
the tendency of the Alexandrine 
Church, which is clearly seen in 
later writers. 




The Egvp. 

Epistle of St Peter, and it \?> doubtful whether he made 
use of it\ 

In speaking of the Alexandrine Canon it is impossible 
to omit all mention of the Egyptian versions, which even 
in their present state shew singular marks of agreement 
with the Alexandrine text ; but further investigations are 
still required before any satisfactory results can be ob- 
tained as to their exact age or as to their original form 
and character^ Two versions into the dialects of Upper 
and Lower Egypt — the Thebaic (Sahidic) and Mem- 
phitic (Bahuric, often called Coptic) — date from the 
third century^ The few fragments of the Bashmuric 

^ In connexion with the Alexan- 
drine Church it is convenient to no- 
tice Julius African us, who wrote 
a famous letter to Origen (cf. p. 364, 
n. 3), and studied at Alexandria, 
and afterwards lived at Emmaus in 
Palestine ^c. 220 a. d.). His niethod 
of reconciling the genealogies in St 
Matthew and St Luke is well known, 
and furnishes an important proof of 
the attention bestowed in his time 
On the criticism of the Apostolic 
Books. He speaks generally of ' all 
* [the writings] of the Old Testament ' 
{Zaa TTfi TTttXatas 5iadrjK7]i (piperai, 
Routh, Rell. Sacr. ii. p. -226), thus 
implying (as Melito had done before 
him) the existence of a written New 
Testament. It is uncertain from 
the language of Origen whether he 
received the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Anatolius bishop of Laodicea 
c. 270 A.D. was likewise an Alex- 
andrian, but there is nothing in the 
fragments of his Paschal Canons 
(Euseb. H. E. vii. 32) which bears 
on the history of the disputed books; 
he makes use however of 2 Cor. iii. 
12 sqq., giving to KaroirTpi^eadai 
(ver. 18) the sense of 'beholding' 
and not 'reflecting.' 

It may also be convenient to no- 
tice here the reference to the Canon 


of the Old and New Testaments in 
the Apostolical Constitutions, 
II. 57, cf. 55. (See App. D.) The 
description of the New Testament is 
very incomplete and comprises only 
•M^ Acfs of the Apostles... the Epi- 
^ sties of Paul ... the Gospels of 
' Matthew and John... and of Luke 

* and Mark. . .' The enumeration, it 
must be added, is made with refer- 
ence to the use of the books in public 
services ; but still the omission of all 
the Catholic Epistles is remarkable, 
and there are no certain references to 
any of them in the text of the book 
itself. Compare however Lardner, 
IV. 352. 

2 By far the most complete account 
of these versions yet given is that by 
Dr Lightfoot in the second edition 
of Dr Scrivener's Plain Introduction, 
pp. 319 ff. 

^ ' We should probably not be 
' exaggerating, if we placed one or 
' both of the principal Egyptian Ver- 

* sions, the Memphitic and the The- 
*baic, or at least parts of them, be- 
*fore the close of the second cen- 
*tury.' Lightfoot, I.e. p. 324. Dr 
Lightfoot suggests that the date ' of 
' the completion or codification of the 

* Memphitic version ' may be fixed at 
the middle of the third century, when 




Chap. ii. 


version belong to a dialectic revision of the Thebaic. 
Of the Thebaic version considerable portions have been 
preserved, and among them parts of all the disputed 
books ; but it is as yet impossible to decide how far 
they are derived from one source\ The Memphitic 
version offers a far more hopeful field for criticism* 
This has been published entire from ancient Manu- 
scripts, and the store of these has not yet been ex- 
hausted. It is then not unreasonable to expect that 
some scholar will point out in this translation, as has 
been done in the Latin and Syriac, how far an older 
work underlies the printed text, and whether that can 
be attributed to one author. But till this has been 
determined no stress can be laid upon the evidence 
which the Version affords for the disputed Catholic 
Epistles^ One point however is clear. The Apocalypse 
had not a place among the Canonical books in the 
Memphitic version^ It appears also that it was not 
included in the Thebaic Canon*. The other books are 
arranged in the MSS. of the Memphitic version, and 
in systematic quotations from the Thebaic in the same 
way : (i) Gospels, (2) Pauline Epistles, (3) Catholic 
Epistles, (4) Acts^ In the Memphitic version the Gospels 
are found in their common order ; but there are indi- 
cations that at one time the Gospel of St John stood 
before that of St Matthew in the Thebaic version ^ 
It is further worthy of notice that the position in the 
Manuscripts occupied by the Epistle to the Hebrews 
— before the Pastoral Epistles — is consistent with the 

doubts were raised at Alexandria as notice that it contains the entire 

to the authorship of the Apocalypse N. T. 

{id. p. 343). ^ Lightfoot, I.e. p. 342. 

1 Lightfoot, /. c. pp. 354 n. ^ id. p. 351. 

2 Though the ^thiopic Version ^ id. pp. 343, 351. 
belongs to the next century, I may ^ id. p. 35 1 . 




judgment of the Alexandrine Church, which received it 
as the work of St Paul^ 

§ 2. The Latin CJmrcJies of Africa. 

At Alexandria, as has been said, the two streams of 
tradition from the East and from the West unite ; but 
elsewhere they may be traced each in its separate course. 
On the one side we follow the Latin Churches of Africa: 
on the other the Greek Churches of Asia. And both 
again re-appear in close connexion at Rome, a second 
centre of Christendom, but widely different from the 
first. ,■ 

In one respect the judgment of the Churches of North 
Africa materially differed from that of Alexandria on 
the New Testament Canon. The Alexandrine Fathers 
uniformly recognised the Epistle to the Hebrews as 
possessed of Apostolic authority, if not indeed as the 
work of St Paul. The early Latin Fathers with equal 
unanimity either exclude it from the Canon or ignore its 
existence. The evidence of Tertullian on this point is 
at once the earliest and the most complete. Though 
the teaching of the Epistle offered the most plausible 
support to the severe doctrines of Montanism, yet he 
nowhere quotes it but in one place, and then assigns it 
positively to Barnabas the companion of St Paul, placing 
its authority above that of the Shepherd of Hermas, but 
evidently below that of the Apostolic Epistles^ In 

1 It may be observed here that 
the Epistle to the Hebrews is placed 
in the same position in the [Eastern] 
Manuscripts fc< A B C H and several 
others, and also by many of the 
Greek Fathers. Cf. Tisch. in Heb. i. i . 
The [Western] Manuscripts D E F G, 
on the contrary, place the Pastoral 
Epistles after those to the Thessa- 

lonians. There are also traces of 
another order : In B capitulorum 
numeri tales appositi ut appareat 
eorum auctorem hanc [ad HelDr. ep.] 
post ep. ad Galatas collocasse. 
Lachm. N. T. ii. 537. 

2 De Pudic. c. 20 : Volo tamen ex 
redundantia alicujus etiam comitis 
Apostolorum testimonium superdu- 

BB 2 

Chap. ii. 

The diver- 
gence of tra- 
dition in the 
East and 


The opinion 
of the Latin 
Churches on 

i. The Epi- 
stle to the 





Chap. ii. 


Cyprian again there is no reference to the Epistle ; and 
on the contrary he implicitly denies that it was a work 
of St Paul. After enumerating many places in which 
the mysticar number seven recurs in Holy Scripture, he 
adds: 'And the Apostle Paul who was mindful of this 

* proper and definite number writes to seven Churches. 

* And in the Apocalypse the Lord writes his divine com- 
'mands and heavenly precepts to seven Churches and 
'their Angels \' It will be remembered that the same 
reference to the symbolism of the number of the Epistles 
occurs in the Muratorian Canon'': and on the very con- 
fines of the Latin Church, Victorinus bishop of Petavium 
(Pettau) in Pannonia reproduces the same idea : * There 
'are,' he says, * spirits ... seven golden candle- 
' sticks ... seven Churches addressed by Paul, seven dea- 
' cons'...' And ej^en Jerome bears witness to the gene- 

cere idoneum confirmandi de proxi- 
mo jure disciplinam magistrorum. 
Exstat etiam Barnabse titulus ad 
Hebrseos : adeo satis auctorati viri 
ut quem Paulus juxta se constituerit 
in abstinentise tenore, i Cor. ix. 
Et utique receptior apud ecclesias 
epistola Barnabse illo apocrypho 
Pastore moechorum. Cf. p. 260 f., 
263. The phrase de proximo jure 
clearly implies that the Apostles had 
the prinium jus, to which an Apo- 
stolic man approached nearest. The 
reading adeo satis auctorati viri (for 
auctoritatis viro) is justified by the 
context and de Cor. Mil. 2: ...obser- 
vationem...ja//j auctoratam consen- 
sus patrocinio. The substitution of 
a Deo for adeo seems to be quite 
unnecessary, and in fact opposed to 
the idea of the sanction of St Paul 
which follows. 

The allusions to the Epistle which 
have been found in other parts of 
Tertullian's writings are very uncer- 

Dr Tregelles {Can. Murat. p. 95) 

calls attention to De Ani?na 50 
(nee mors eorum reperta est) and 
adv. Jud. 2 (qui necdum mortem 
gustavit) as containing references to 
Hebr. xi. 5 (not Gen. v. 24) ; but no 
stress can be laid even on these 
passages. The mention of the Epi- 
stle to the Hebrews under the title 
of the Epistle of Barnabas in the 
Claromontane Stichometry (App. D. 
XX.) is a remarkable trace of the 
opinion held by Tertullian. 

1 De Exhort. Mart. 11 {med.)'. 
Apostolus Paulus qui hujus numeri 
legitimi et certi meminit ad septem 
ecclesias scribit. Et in Apocalypsi 
Dominus mandata sua divina et prae- 
cepta coelestia ad septem ecclesias et 
eorum angelos scribit. Cf. Testim. 
I. 20: Unde et Paulus septem ec- 
clesiis scribit et Apocalypsis eccle- 
sias septem ponit ut servetur septe- 
narius numerus. 

2 Cf. p. 217. 

3 Vict. ap. Routh, Rell. Sacr. in. 
p. 459- 




ral prevalence of the belief when he says : 'The Apostle 
' Paul writes to seven Churches, for his eighth Epistle to 
* the Hebrews is by most excluded from the number*.' 
Generally indeed it may be stated that no Latin Father 
before Hilary quotes the Epistle as St Paul's ; and his 
judgment and that of the writers who followed him was 
strongly influenced by the authority of Origen^ 

With regard to the disputed Catholic Epistles the 
earliest Latin Fathers offer little evidence. Tertullian 
once expressly quotes the Epistle of St Jude as autho- 
ritative and Apostolic I But there is nothing in his 
writings to shew that he was acquainted with the Epistle 
of St James*, the second and third Epistles of St John°, 
or the second Epistle of St Peter. In Cyprian there is 
I believe no reference to any of the disputed Epistles. 
Like several earlier writers, he quotes the first Epistles 
of St Peter and St John so as to imply that he was not 

^ Hieron. ad Paul. 50 (al. 103, 
iv. p. 574) : Paulus Apostolus ad 
septem ecclesias scribit, octava enim 
ad Hebr^os a plerisque extra nu- 
merum ponitur. 

^ The references in Lactantius are 
very uncertain, though the coinci- 
dences of argument are remarkable. 
E.g. Hebr. iii. 3 — 6; v. 5, 6; vii. 
21, compared with Lact. Instit. IV. 
14 init. (quoted by Lardner). 

3 De Hab. Muliebri 3: ...Enoch 
apud Judam Apostolum testimo' 
nium possidet. ' This is the only 
reference which occurs. 

■* The references given by Semler, 
adv. Jiid. 1 (James ii. 23) ; de Orat. 
8 (James i. 1 3) are quite unsatisfac- 
tory. The latter passage indeed 
seems to prove clearly that Tertul- 
lian did not know the Epistle, for 
otherwise he must have quoted it. 
The quotation de Exhort. Cast. 7, 
non auditor es legis justificabuntur a 
deo sed factoresy is from Rom. ii. 13, 
not from James i. 22. 

The well-known passage adv. 
Gnost. 12 does not in itself neces- 
sarily shew more than that Tertul- 
lian did not attribute the Epistle to 
St James the Elder ; but the omis- 
sion of all reference to it there, 
when connected with the other facts, 
can leave little doubt that he was 
unacquainted with it. 

^ The reference in the treatise 
against Marcion (iv. 16) is certainly 
to I John iv. I, 2, and not to 2 
John 7, though the Latin has not 
preserved the difference between 
iXrjXvdora and epxoiJ.evov. Some dif- 
ficulty has been felt about the phrase 
yohannes in primore Epistola {de 
Pudic. 19) : but Tertullian is there 
contrasting the teaching of i John 
iii. 8, 9 with the passage at the 
beginning of his Epistle: i John i. 8. 
This sense oi primoris is fully justi- 
fied by Aul. Gell. i. 18. 2 : Varro in 
primore libro scripsit... Cf. nott. in 

Chap. ii. 


ii. The Epi- 
stles of St 
2 Peter, 
2 a«^3 John, 
Jude. . 




Chap. ii. 


Auct. Adv. 



iii. 7!^^ Apo- 




familiarly acquainted with any other ^ ; but a clause from 
the record of the seventh Council of Carthage, at which 
he was present, shews how little stress can be laid upon 
such language alone. For after that one bishop had 
referred to the first Epistle of St John as ' St John's 
' Epistle' as though it were the only one, Aurelius bishop 
of Chullabi uses exactly the same words in quoting the 
second epistle^ At the same time however the entire 
absence of quotations from these Epistles in the writings 
of Cyprian, and (with the exception of the short Epistle 
to Philemon) from these Epistles only of all the books 
of the New Testament, leads to the conclusion that he 
was either ignorant of their existence or doubtful as to 
their authority. One other passage alone remains to be 
noticed. The judgment of Tertullian on the Epistle of 
St Jude is confirmed by a passage in one of the con- 
temporary treatises commonly appended to the works 
of Cyprian, in which it is quoted as Scripture' ; and 
this reference completes I believe the sum of what can 
be gathered from early Latin writers on this class of the 
disputed books. 

But if the evidence for these Epistles be meagre, 
that for the Apocalypse is most complete. Tertullian 
quotes it continually as the work of the Evangelist St 
John, and nowhere implies any doubt of its authen- 
ticity*. Cyprian again makes constant use of it as Holy 
Scripture, though he does not expressly assign it to the 
authorship of the Evangelist St John^ Commodian*^ 

'^ De Exhort. Marc. c. 9: Petrus ^ De Opere et Eleeni. 14: Audi in 

in epistola sua... c. 10: Johannes in Apocalypsi Domini tui vocem... So 

epistola sua... adv. Novat. Hcer. p. ix. 

2 Cf. p. 366, n. 3. ^ Commod. Instr. i. 41. He in- 

3 Adv. Novat. Hccret. p. xvii. ed. terprets Antichrist of Nero, who 
Bahiz. (quoted by Lardner) : sicut should rise again. The conjecture 
scriptum est: Jude 14, 15. Ii. i. 17, opcrta Johannis, is very 

^ Adv. Marc. iii. 14 : Apostolus uncertain. 
Johannes in Apocalypsi... 




and Lactantius^ make several allusions to it ; and, with 
the exception of the Gospel of St John, it is the only- 
book of the New Testament which the latter writer 
quotes by name. From every quarter the testimony of 
the early Latin Fathers to the Apostolic authority of 
the Apocalypse is thus decided and unanimous ^ 

It appears then that the Canon of the Latin Churches 
up to the beginning of the fourth century differed from 
our own by defect and not by addition. The Latin Fa- 
thers were in danger of bounding the limits of the Canon 
too straitly, as the Alexandrine Fathers were inclined 
to extend them too widely. But the same causes which 
kept them from acknowledging all the books which we 
receive preserved them also from the risk of confound- 
ing Apocryphal with Canonical writings. Notwithstand- 
ing the extent of Tertullian's works he refers only to two 
Apocryphal books ; and one of these — the Shepherd of 
Hermas — he rejects with contempt^: the other — the 
Acts of Paul and Thecla — he declares to be a detected 
forgery ^ In Cyprian, though he freely uses the Apocry- 
phal books of the Old Testament, there is no trace of 
any Christian Apocryphal book ; and in the tracts ap- 
pended to his works there is a single condemnatory 
reference to the Preaching of Paul'". Lactantius also 
once alludes to the same book, but without attributing 

^ Lact. Ep. 42 f. : ...sicut docet 
Johannes in Revelatione. 

2 For the Claromontane Stichome- 
try, see App. D. xx. 

3 Tert. de Orat. 12. Cf. de Picdic. 
10: Sed cederem tibi si scriptura 
Pastoris quae sola moechos amat di- 
vino instrumento meruisset incidi, si 
non ab omni concilio ecclesiarum 
etiam vestrarum inter apocrypha et 
falsa judicaretur, adultera et ipsa et 
inde patrona sociorunj. 

^ De Bapt, 17: ...sciant in Asia 

presbyterum qui earn scripturam 
[Acta Pauli et Theclae] construxit, 
quasi titulo Pauli de suo cumulans, 
convictum atque confessum id se 
amore Pauli fecisse, loco decessisse. 
^ De Bapt. 14 : Est autem adul- 
terini hujus immo internecini bap- 
tismatis si quis alius auctor turn 
etiam quidam ab eisdem ipsis haere- 
ticis propter hunc eundem errorem 
confictus liber qui inscribitur Pauli 
prsedicatio. On the name see Routh, 
RelL Sacr. v. 325. 

Chap. ii. 


The Canon 
of the Latin 

free from 




Chap. ii. 

and regard- 
ed as a dis' 
tinct whole. 

Rome the 
antipole to 
in the third 

to it any remarkable authority ^ ; and elsewhere he 
quotes the words of the Heavenly Voice at our Lord's 
Baptism according to the reading of Justin Martyr ^ But 
here the list ends ; and on the other hand numerous 
passages in Tertullian, Cyprian, and Victorinus, shew- 
that they regarded the books of the New Testament not 
only as a collection but as a whole ; not thrown to- 
gether by caprice or accident, but united by Divine Pro- 
vidence, and equal in authority with the Jewish Scrip- 
tures. The language of Tertullian has been quoted al- 
ready; and both Cyprian and Victorinus found a certain 
fitness in a fourfold Gospel, as well as in the seven 
Churches addressed by St Paul, so that the very pro- 
portions of the Canon seemed to them to be fixed by 
a definite law^ Nor was this strange ; for the Old and 
New Scriptures were in their judgment 'fountains of 

* Divine fulness,' written by ' Prophets and Apostles full of 

* the Holy Spirit,' before which * all the tediousness and 
' ambiguities of human discourse must be laid aside V 

§ 3. The Church of Rome. 

In passing from Africa to Rome we come to the 
second meeting-point of the East and West ; for it could 
not but happen that Rome soon became a great centre 
of the Christian world. A Latin Church grew up round 
the Greek Church, and the peculiarities of both were 
harmonized by that power of organization which ruled 

^ Lact. Instil, iv. 21 : ...sed et 
futura aperuit illis omnia quae Pe- 
trus et Paulus Romge prsedicaverunt, 
et ea pra?dicatio in memoriam scripta 

2 Instil. I V. 1 5 : Tunc vox de coelo 
audita est: Filius mens es tu; ego 
hodie genui te. Cf. p. 160. 

8 Cf. pp. 345 f., 372. Cypr. Ep. 
73. 10: Ecclesia paradisi instar... 

arbores rigat quatuor fluminibus, id 
est evangeliis... Victorinus (Routh, 
Rell. Sacr. lli. 456): ...quatuor ani- 
malia ante thronum Dei quatuor 
evangelia... It is I think unnecessary 
to make any apology for the use of 
Cyprian's letters. 

^ Cypr. de Oral. Dom. i ; de Ex- 
hort. Mart. 1.4. 




the Roman life. But the combination of the same ele- 
ments at Alexandria and Rome was effected in different 
modes, and produced different results. The teaching of 
the East and West was united at Alexandria by the 
conscious operation of a spirit of eclecticism: at Rome by. 
the silent pressure of events. The one combination^«» 
literary : the other practical. The one resulted in a theib- 
logical code: the other in an ecclesiastical system. And 
though it would be out of place to dwell longer on these 
fundamental differences of Alexandria and Rome — the 
poles of Christendom in the third century — it is of im- 
portance to bear them in mind even in an investigation 
into the history of the New Testament. 

The earliest memorials of the Latin Church of Rome 
are extremely small, and contain very little which bears 
on the history of the New Testament Canon. Nothing 
survives of the writings of ApoUonius and Victor, the 
first Latin authors whose names have been preserved. 
The Octavius of Minucius Felix, like former Apologies, 
contains no quotations from the Christian Scriptures ; 
and the two letters of Cornelius included in the works of 
Cyprian are scarcely more productive \ The treatises of 
Novatus, the unsuccessful rival of Cornelius, are alone of 
such character and extent as to call for the frequent use 
of the Apostolic writings ; and they do in fact contain 
numerous quotations from most of the acknowledged 
books. But Novatus nowhere quotes any other Chris- 
tian Scriptures; and the passing coincidences of thought 
and language with the Epistle to the Hebrews which 
occur in his essay On the Trinity are very uncertain'^ ; 

^ One quotation occurs from St phetis et ab apostolis approbatur 

Matthew V. 8; ^/. ap. Routh, 7?,?//. (Hebr. i. 3; but cf. Eph. i. 20; i 

Sacr.iw. 18. Pet. iii. ii)\ id. 31: ...ut quamvis 

2 De Tj'in. 26: Cum sedere [Chris- probet ilium nativitas Filium, tamen 

turn] ad dexteram Patris et a pro- morigera obedientia asserat ilium 

Chap. ii. 


\y. The Latin 





t 252. 




Chap, ii. 

ii. TA^ Greek 




C. 213 A.D. 

while those with the Epistle of St James and 2 Peter are 
barely worthy of noticed It is also of importance to re- 
mark that while in the later stages of the Novatian con- 
troversy, when the Epistle to the Hebrews was generally 
acknowledged, it is said that the reading of that Epistle 
was omitted in some Churches from the danger of mis- 
understanding its teaching on repentance, no distinct 
reference to it is made by Novatus or by his immediate 
opponents; which could scarcely have been avoided if it 
had been held to be authoritative in their time. 

The preponderance of the Greek element in the Ro- 
man Church even during the third century, at least in a 
literary aspect, is clearly shewn by the writings of Caius, 
Hippolytus, and Dionysius. Of the first and last only 
fragments remain ; and nothing more can be gathered 
from the slight remains of Dionysius than that he recog- 
nised a New as well as an Old Testament as a final 
source of truths Of Caius it is reported by Eusebius 
that in arguing against the ' new scriptures ' of the Mon- 
tanists he enumerated only thirteen Epistles of St Paul, 
omitting that to the Hebrews^ Whether he received all 
the remaining books of the New Testament is left in un- 
certainty ; and in the case of the Apocalypse this is the 
more to be. regretted, because in one obscure fragment 
he has been supposed to attribute its authorship to 
Cerinthus*. In close connexion with Caius must be 
noticed a group of writings which were once attributed 

Paternse voluntatis ex quo est mi- 
nistrum (Hebr. v. 8) ; id. s.f. (Hebr. 
V. 7); id. 16: sed vse est adjicienti- 
bus quomodo et detrahentibus posi- 
tum (Apoc. xxii. 18, 19). 

1 De Trin. 8 {^ Pet. ii. 5); id. 4 
(James i. 17). The latter passage 
indeed seems to me to shew clearly 
that Novatus was not acquainted 
with the Epistle of St James. 

2 Dion. Rom. fr. (Routh, Rell. 
Sacr. III. 374) : Tptd5a iilv Krjpvr- 
Toixhr}v virb ttjs deias ypacpijs aa<pus 
iTriaravTai, rpeis 8^ Qeovs ovre ira- 
\aiau oiire Kaivijv bi.adrjK'qv KrjpOT- 

3 Euseb. JI. E. VI. 20. 

4 ap. Euseb. H. E. in. 28. Cf. p. 
278, n. 2. 




to him, but which are now, by almost universal consent, 
assigned to his contemporary Hippolytus. Of these the 
most important is the Treatise against all Heresies, to 
which frequent reference has been made already in 
examining the opinions of early heretics on the New 
Testament Canon. But apart from the testimony which 
it thus conveys I have noticed nothing in it which bears 
upon the history of the disputed Books. Of the Little 
LabyriiitJi and the Treatise on the Universe only frag- 
ments remain. In one passage of the former work a 
charge is brought against certain heretics of ' fearlessly 
'tampering with the Divine Scriptures while they said 
' that they had corrected them ; so that if any one were 
'to take the Manuscripts of their several teachers and 
'compare them together he would find them widely dif- 
*ferent....And how daring this offence is even they must 
'know; for either they do not believe that the Divine 
'Scriptures were uttered by the Holy Spirit, and are 
'unbelievers, or they hold that they are themselves 
' wiser than the Holy Spirit. And what is this but the 
* conduct of madmen 1 for they cannot deny that the 
' daring act is their own, since the corrections are written 
' by their hand ; and they did not receive the Scrip- 
' tures in such a form from those by whom they were 
'instructed ; and they have it not in their power to shew 
' the Manuscripts from which they transcribed their read- 
'ings\' This refers of course chiefly to the text of 
Scripture, and probably of the Old Testament, but it is 
no less an evidence of the vigilance with which the sa- 
cred writings were guarded, and of the divine authority 
which was attributed to their words. And elsewhere, 
in noticing the statement that a revolution in Christian 
doctrine had happened after the times of Victor, the 

, 1 Euseb. H. E. v. 28. Routh, Rdl. Saci\ II. 132 sq. 

Chap: ii. 

The_ Treatise 
against He- 

The Little 



same author replies that the assertion 'would perhaps 
'have been plausible if in the first place the Divine 
* Scriptures had not opposed it, and next also the writ- 
ings of brethren before the time of Victor^...' An 
appeal is thus made both to Scripture and to tradition, 
and the line between them is drawn distinctly. The 
peroration of the Address to the Greeks 07i the Universe 
has been well likened to the conclusion of a Christian 
Goj^gias, painting in vivid and brilliant colours the scenes 
of Hades and the Last Judgment. Many passages from 
the New Testament are inwrought into the composition, 
but so as to lose much of their original character; and it 
is consequently impossible to point with confidence to 
the coincidences of thought which it offers with the Epi- 
stle of St Jude (or 2 Peter) and the Apocalypsel The 
undoubted writings of Hippolytus contain quotations 
from all the acknowledged books except the Epistle to 
Philemon and the first Epistle of St John. Of the dis- 
puted books he uses the Apocalypse as an unques- 
tionable work of the Apostle St John, and is said to 
have written a Commentary upon it^ On the other 
hand he is reported not to have included the Epistle to 
the Hebrews among the Epistles of St Paul*. But be- 

^ Euseb. /. c; Routh, Rell. Sacr. 
II. 129. 

^ Bunsen, Atial. Ante-Nic. l. 393 
sqq. The passages which seem most 
remarkable are the following: ...ev 
TQVTt^ T(p X(j3piii)...ava.-yKy] (Tkotos 8ir]- 
veKCbs Tii7xa»'€ti'' tovto rb x^pf-^^ ws 
^povpiov dir€U€/jiij6r] xpvxaU e0' 4^ Kar- 
effTadrjaav dyyeXoi (ppovpoi... (J udc 6; 
2 Pet. ii. 4) €v TovTip 5^ T(^ X^P^V 
...\ifxu7] Tvpbs d(r/3eo'ToO...(Apoc. xx. 
10 sqq.). It may be observed that 
in a passage shortly after this where 
the common text is aXXd Kal ov rbv 
TU3V Traripuv xopbv...6po}<Tt... we must 
read /cat ovroi rbv tCqv it. X' Bun- 

sen's emendation ov rbv r. ir. x- does 
not suit the description. 

^ De Antichr. 36. Cf. 29. 

^ Phot. Cod. 121 (Bunsen, Anal. 
I. 411). Dr Tregelles(6"'a«. Murat. 
p. 95) points out two possible refer- 
ences to the epistle {adv. Jud. 3 1| 
Hebr. xiii. 2. ' In Sus. v. 2^ jj 
Hebr. x. 31). The same scholar {id. 
p. 10 1 ) considers that the -words of 
2 Pet. ii. 22 'are interwoven' in the 
Philosoph. ix. 7, ^er ov iroXi; 3^ iwl 
rbv aivrbu ^bpfiopov av€Kv\LovTO. In 
a proverbial phrase I should hesitate 
in deciding on the source from which 
the words might be derived. 




yond this there is nothing to shew his opinion upon the 
contents of the Canon \ 

From this then it appears that though there is not 
evidence to establish a complete view of the Roman 
Canon in the third century, some points can be ascer- 
tained with satisfactory certainty. By the Roman, as 
well as by the Alexandrine and African Churches, the 
Apocalypse was added to the acknowledged books ; but 
like the African Church it did not receive the Epistle to 
the Hebrews among the writings of St Paul. Apart 
however from the evidence for particular books, it is evi- 
dent that as a whole the Apostolic writings occupied at 
Rome, no less than elsewhere, a definite and distin- 
guished place as an ultimate standard of doctrine. 

§ 4. The Churches of Asia Minor, 

The great work of Irenseus written in the remote 
regions of Gaul and preserved for the most part only in 
a Latin translation is the sole considerable monument of 
the literature of the Churches of Asia Minor from the 
time of Polycarp to that of Gregory of Neo-Caesarea or 
even of Basil. Still there is abundant proof of their zeal 
and activity. At Ephesus and Smyrna, in Pontus and 
Cappadocia, there were those who traced back a direct 
connexion with the Apostles, and witnessed to the con- 
tinuity of the Faith. 

During the Paschal controversy in the time of Victor, 
Polycrates bishop of Ephesus addressed a letter in the 
name of a 'vast multitude' of Asiatic bishops to the 
Roman Church, justifying their peculiar usage by the 

^ The supposed reference to ^ Pet. TTjpov/xivai, (Hipp, in Dan. p. 158 
i. 21 in de Antichr. i is wholly un- Lagarde), a clearer trace of Jude 6, 
certain. Nor is the phrase e^s Kpisiv 2 Pet. ii. 4. 

Chap. ii. 

Summary 0/ 
the opinion 
of the 

Scanty lite- 
rature of the 

I. The 
Chtirch of 

C. 196 A.D. 



example of their predecessors \ ' For these all,' he says, 
^ observed the fourteenth day of the moon according to 
^ the Gospel, transgressing it in no respect, but following 
' it according to the rule of faithl' Yet even this tradi- 
tion was not enough : he had also ' conversed with bre- 
' thren from the whole world, and gone through all Holy 
' Scripture V and so at length he was not afraid to meet 
his opponents. Such was the relation of Scripture and 
tradition in the resting-place of St John within a century 
after his death : such the intimate union of Churches 
which were last blessed by the presence of an Apostle. 
Apollonius, who is stated on doubtful authority to have 
been also bishop of Ephesusj*, recognises a similar com- 
bination of arguments when he accuses Themison a fol- 
lower of Montanus of ' speaking aigainst the Lord, the 
' Apostles, and the Holy Church,' while in the endeavour 
to recomrriend his doctrine ' he ventured in imitation of 
'the Apostle to compose a Catholic Epistle^' In addi- 
tion to these natural indications of the peculiar position 
occupied by the Christian Scriptures generally, Eusebius 
mentions that Apollonius ' made use of testimonies from 
* the Apocalypse ; ' and this indeed would necessarily be 

1 Euseb. H. E. v. 24. The letter 
of Polycrates was written in his 65th 
year, and Victor died 197 A. D. ; Po- 
lycrates then may have conversed 
Math Polycarp and Justin Martyr. 
He appears to have been of a Chris- 
tian family [e^riKovTa irhTe ^rr} ^x^^ 
iv Kvpiq}); and probably" the epi- 
scopate had been hereditary in it 
(eTTTct iJih T]<rav cvyyeveh fJ.ov iiri- 
(TKoiroi iyuf 5k oySoos). At least every 
detail points to the unbroken unity 
of the Church. 

^ Euseb, /. c. : ovtoi vdures ir-^- 
prjaav ttjv Tjfxipav ttj's reaaapecxKai- 
deKdrrjs rod rrdcrxc'' Kark to evayyi- 
\iov, firjBh TaoeK^aipovTes dXKd /cam 
Tov Kavbva ttJs Tr^crrews aKoXovdovp- 

T€s. It may be added that Polycrates 
speaks of St John as d iirl to aTTjOos 
Tov KvpLov dvaireaihv (John xiii. 25; 
xxi. -20). Compare p. 2-27, n. 3. 

^ Euseb. /. c: ... cvix^e^X'qKm to?s 
ttTTO r^s oIkov/x^vtjs dd€X(po2s Kal ttS- 
aav dylav ypa4>w diekrfKvdds... These 
last words I believe refer to the New 
Testament. Yet cf. Anatol. ap. Eu- 
seb. N. E. VII. 32. 

* Routh, J^ell. Sacr. i. p. 465. 

5 Apoll. ap. Euseb. JI. E. v. 18: 
Qefilawv ... iT6\fjLr]j6 fiifMovfiepos tov 
dirbcfTo\ov Ka9oXiK-qv Tiva avvTa^d' 
fievos iTn(rTo'\7]v...p\ao-<p7]iJ.7](TaL dk els 
TOV Kupiov Kal Toi)s dTTOCTToXovs Kcd 
T-qv aytap eKKXrjfflav, 




the case in a controversy with Montanist teachers, who 
affirmed that the site of the heavenly Jerusalem was no 
other than the little Phrygian town which was the centre 
of their sect\ 

It is uncertain at what time and under what circum- 
stances Irenseus left Smyrna on his mission to Gaul. 
He was 'still a boy/ 'at the commencement of life/ 
when he listened to Polycarp ' in lower Asia ; ' but yet 
he was not too young to treasure up the words of his 
teacher, so that they became the comfort of his old agel 
While a presbyter at Lyons he was commended by the 
Church there to Eleutherus bishop of Rome as ' zealous 
' for the covenant of Christ :' and at a later time he con- 
tinued to take a watchful regard of the 'sound ordi- 
' nances of the Church ' throughout Christendom. Euse- 
bius^ has collected some of his testimonies to the Books 
of the New Testament, but they extend only to the four 
Gospels, the Apocalypse, i John, and i Peter ; for he 
makes no mention of his constant use of the Acts and of 
twelve Epistles of St Paul. It is however of more im- 
portance to notice that he has neglected to observe the 
quotations which Irenaeus makes from 2 John, once 
citing a verse from it as though it were contained in the 

1 Euseb. /. c. : K^xpriT'^i- ^^ Kal 
fxaprvpiais CLTrb rrjs 'Iwdwou 'AiroKa- 
\v\f/e(vs. The description which A- 
pollonius gives of Montanus — ovrds 

€(TTIV...6 n^TTOV^l/ Kal TtJfXLOV 'Ie/)ou- 

craXrjfj. bvojidaas {irdXeis 54 €i(nv avrai 
fiLKpal TrjS ^pvyiai) roiis iravraxbdev 
iK€i (Tvpayayeiu idiXiav — may remind 
us of a ' prophet ' of our own times. 
Cf. Epiph. JIa:r. XLix. i : Xpiarbs 
... aT€ Kd\v\p4 fxoi (a Montanist pro- 
phetess) TovTovl rbv Tbirov dual dyiov 
Kal (55e TTjv 'lepovaaXrjfjt. iK tov oiipa- 
vov Kariivai. 
On the tradition which Apollonius 

mentions that the Apostles were com- 
manded by our Lord to remain twelve 
years at Jerusalem, compare Clem. 
Alex. Strom, vi. 5. 43; Lumper, vii. 
5 sqq. 

2 Euseb. H, E. v. 20. Cf. Iren. 
c. Hcer. ill. 3. 4 (Euseb. H. E. IV. ' 
14). The date of Irenaeus is much 
disputed, depending on that of Poly- 
carp. I have given that which ap- 
pears to be the most probable. E- 
leutherus was still bishop of Roine 
when he wrote his great Treatise c. 
Hcer. (III. 3. 3). 

3 H. E. V. 8. 

Chap. ii. 

2. The 
Church of 
c. 135 — 200 


C. 177 A.D. 

His testi- 
mony to the 




Chap. ii. 

The Epistle 
to the 

first Epistle\ But in addition to the Apocalypse, which 
Irenaeus uses continually as an unquestioned work of St 
John^ this is the only disputed book which he certainly 
acknowledged as having Apostolic authority ; and there 
are no anonymous references to the Epistle of St James^ 
3 John, 2 Peter, or St Jude, on which any reliance can be 
placed. Some coincidences of language with the Epistle 
to the Hebrews are more striking ; and in a later chap- 
ter Eusebius states that in a book now lost Irenaeus 
* mentions the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Wisdom 
*of Solomon ^* Agreeably with this, the Epistle to the 
Hebrews appears to be quoted in the second Pfaffian 
fragment as the work of St Paul^; but on the other 
hand Photius classes Irenaeus with Hippolytus as deny- 
ing the Pauline authorship of the Epistle. And this last 

^ Iren. c. Hcer. i. i6. 3 : 'Iwrfvi^s 
5^ 6 rod Kvplov fia6r}Tr]s...'2 John 11. 
In the same connexion it would have 
been natural to quote 2 Peter and 

Id. III. 16. 8 : Johannes in prse- 
dicta epistola... (2 John 7, 8), after 
quoting i John ii. 18 sqq. Comp. 
Clem. Alex, quoted p. 357, n. 6. Is 
it possible that the second Epistle 
was looked upon as an appendix to 
the first? and may we thus explain 
the references to /7W Epistles of St 
John? The first Epistle, as is well 
known, was called ad Parthos by 
Augustine and some other Latin 
authorities ; and the same title Trph% 
TldpOovs is given to the second Epi- 
stle in one Greek Manuscript (62 
Scholz). The Latin translation of 
Clement's Outlines (iv. 66) says : 
Secunda Johannis epistola quae ad 
virgines (irapdepovs) scripta simpli- 
cissima est. Jerome, it may be 
added, quotes names from the //nrd 
Epistle as from the second {De Nom. 

- Iren. c. Hcer. IV. 20. n : Joannes 

domini discipulus in Apocalypsi... 
Yet he never calls him an Apostle, 
though he identifies him \in loc.) 
with the disciple whom Jesus loved, 
John xiii. 25. 

^ The supposed reference to James 
ii. 23 in IV. 16. 2, credidit Deo et repu- 
latum est illi ad justitiam, et amicus 
Dei vocatus est, is one which from its 
form cannot be regarded as certain. 
It is evident that many quotations 
from the Old Testament were widely 
current in modified forms, as is the 
case still, so that the reci;rrence of a 
particular type of rendering or appli- 
cation in two writers probably shews 
nothing more than their dependence 
on a common source. Comp. p. 170. 

4 Euseb. H. E. v. 16. Cf. p. 356, 
n. I. Iren. c. Hcer. II. 30. 9: Solus 
hie Deus invenitur qui omnia fecit... 
verbo virtutis sues (Hebr. i. 3) : ib. 
IV. II. 4; cf. Hebr. x. i, 6^r.; ib, 
v. 5. i; cf. Hebr. xi. 5. 

5 Iren. fr. 38 (p. 854) : 6 IlaGXoj 
irapaKoKel rjfxds (Rom. xii. i).../cai 
irdXiv (Hebr. xiii. 15). 




Statement leads the way to the most probable conclu- 
sion : Irenaeus was I believe acquainted with the Epistle, 
but he did not attribute it to St Paul\ 

One of the most distinguished converts of Origen was 
Gregory surnamed Thaumaturgus (the Wonder-Worker) 
bishop of Neo-Caesarea (Niksar) in Pontus. His chief 
remaining work is an eloquent address delivered before 
his master when he was about to leave him. From its 
character it contains very little which bears upon the 
Canon, and nothing in regard to the disputed books. 
But in a fragment quoted from Gregory in a Catena 
there occurs a marked coincidence with the language of 
St James^; and Origen in a letter which he addressed to 
him uses among olher texts one from the Epistle to the 
Hebrews ^ From this, as well as from the mode in which 
Gregory treats the writings of the New Testament 
generally, it may be reasonably concluded that he ac- 
cepted the same books as Origen, to whom indeed he 
owed his knowledge of the Scriptures. But in sending 
forth such a scholar to the confines of Asia Minor, 
Origen only repaid a benefit which he had received. 
When he had been forced to leave Egypt he found pro- 
tection and honour at the hands of Alexander, originally 
a Cappadocian bishop, who was advanced to the chair of 
Jerusalem on the death of Narcissus, whom he had pre- 
viously assisted in his episcopal work. Nor can these 
facts be without value in our inquiry. It is surely no 

1 Eusebius {H. E. v. 8) noticed 
that Irenaeus quoted the Shepherd 
of Hermas {c. Hcer. iv. 20. 2) by the 
name of 'Scripture.' But several 
instances have been lately given 
which prove the lax use of the word; 
and a difference of private opinion, 
which is found also in the case of 
Origen, makes the general agree- 
ment of the Churches more conspi- 



2 Cat. Vat. ap. Ghisler. Cotnm. in 
lerem. I. p. 831 : drjXou yap u>s irav 
ayadbv T^Xeiov debdev ^pxerai. James 
i. 17. 

^ £p. ad. Greg: 3 : iua 'K^yijs ov 
IxSvov TO Miroxot toO 'Kpio'Tou' yey 6- 
vafieV &\\a kuI Miroxot rod Qeou. 
Hebr. iii. 14. 


Chap. ii. 

3. T/te 
Church of 
Gregory of 

The Epistle 
to the 

of the North 
of Asia. 

23T A 



Chap. ii. 


7'S A.D. 

2 Peter ii. 


1 C. 311 A.D. 

slight thing that casual notices shew that Christians the 
most widely separated were really joined together by 
close intercourse : that the Churches of remote provinces, 
whose existence and prosperity were first disclosed by the 
zeal of a Roman governor, are found about a century 
after in intimate connexion with Syria, Egypt, and 
Greece^ And the evidence is yet incomplete; for 
among others who visited Origen during his sojourn in 
Syria was Firmilian bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, 
the correspondent and advocate of Cyprian*; and thus 
for the moment an obscure corner of Asia becomes a 
meeting-point of Christians from every quarter, not 
only * as if they lived in one country, but as dwelling 
* in one house'.' The single letter of Firmilian, which is 
preserved in a Latin translation among the letters of 
Cyprian, contains numerous allusions to the acknow- 
ledged books, and in one place he appears to refer to the 
second Epistle of St Peter. * The blessed Apostles Peter 
*and Paul,' he says, 'have anathematized heretics in 
'their Epistles, and warned us to avoid them\' 

But the influence of Origen was not dominant in all 
parts of Asia Minor. Methodius a bishop of Lycia" and 
afterwards of Tyre distinguished himself for animosity 
to his teaching, which Eusebius so far resented, if we 

1 Cf. Euseb. H. E. iv. 23: &\\-t\ 
5' kiriffTokr] Tis avrov [Aiovvaiov] npos 
NtKo/iT/S^as (f>ip€Tat... 

2 Euseb. JI. £. VI. 27. 

3 Firm. £p. 75 (Cypr.) § i. 

* Firm. £p. § 6: Adhuc etiam 
infamans Petrum et Paulum beatos 
Apostolos...qui in Epistolis suis hx- 
reticos exsecrati sunt et ut eos evi- 
temus monuerunt. In the same 
chapter Firmihan notices (as unim- 
portant) ritual differences between 
the Roman and Eastern churches : 
circa celebrandos dies Paschse et 

circa multa alia divinae rei sacra- 
menta... secundum quod in cceteris 
quoque plurimis provinciis multa pro 
locorum et nominum (?) diversitate 

5 Socr. I/. E. VI. i3:...Meeo'5tos 
t9\% iv AvKLq. TToXews \€yo;i^i>rj$ 'OXv/j.- 
irov iiricrKoiros. Socrates (/, c.) alone 
mentions that Methodius recanted 
his censures on Origen ; yet probably 
his words mean no more than that 
he expressed admiration for Origen's 
character, and not for his doctrine. 




may believe the common explanation of his silence, as to 
omit all mention of him in his history, though his works 
were ' popularly read ' in Jerome's time*. There is no- 
thing however to indicate that the differences which 
separated Methodius from Origen extended either to the 
Interpretation or to the Canon of Scripture ; and thus 
they give fresh value to his evidence by confirming its 
independence. Like earlier Fathers, Methodius found a 
mystical significance in the number of the Gospels*; and 
his writings abound with quotations from the acknow- 
ledged books. He also received the Apocalypse as a 
work of * the blessed John ' and as possessing undoubted 
authority*. Besides this, numerous coincidences of lan- 
guage shew that he was acquainted with the Epistle to 
the Hebrews ; and though he does not directly attribute 
it to St Paul, he uses it with the same familiarity and 
respect as he exhibits towards the Pauline Epistles*. 

The heresy of Montanus, as has been seen already, 
occupied much of the attention of Asiatic writers at the 
beginning of the third century. The steady opposition 
which they offered to the pretensions of the new pro- 
phets is in itself a proof of the limits which they fixed to 
the presence of inspired teaching in the Church, and of 
their belief in the completeness of the Revelation made 
through the Apostles. In an anonymous fragment 

Cbaof. u. 

He rtceived 

tfl£ AfOCSkr 

to the 

Frag. Adv. 



1 Hieron. de Virr. III. 83. 

2 Sympos. de Cast. p. 391 D. 

' De Resurr. p. 326 B : iri<mjffOF 
8i lirironre koI b /laKdpiof 'Itodynjt... 
Apoc. XX. 13. Id. p. 328 D: rm drj 
Itri 6 ^puTTOi rpcJTOTOKOS etpou, tQv 
P€Kpw» vro rCov TpotftTfrCiv koX rOm 
droffTokutv 4-^eTcu ; (Apoc. L 5 ; Col. 
i. 18). Methodius is also mentioned 
by Andreas of Caesarea with Papias, 
Irenaeus, and Hippolytus, as a wit- 
ness to the * divine inspiration ' of 
the Apocalypse (Routh, Rell. Sacr. 

I. 15). He interpreted much of it 
all^orically — etj -njpf iKKKt\<ria» koI 
rdj rapdeyoOaas (Sympos. p. 388 A). 

* De Resurr. p. 286 d. Hebr. xii. 
5, &c In the spurious tract on 

* Symeon and Anna ' it is quoted as 

* the most divine Paul's* (p. 427 d). 
Methodius must be added to the 
many before him who quote Ps. ii. 7 
as having been uttered at our Lord's 
Baptism {Sympos. p. 387 d). Cf. 
p. 160, D. I. 





Apoc. xxii. 
i8, 19. 

The Canon 
of Asia Mi- 
nor defeC' 
tive but 




which Eusebius has preserved from one of the many 
treatises on the subject this opinion finds a remarkable 
expression. For a long time, the writer says, I was dis- 
inclined to undertake the refutation of the opinions of 
multitudes '... through fear and careful regard lest I 
' should seem in any way to some to add any new article 
'or clause to the word of the New Covenant of the 
' Gospel, which no one may add to or take from who 
'has determined to live according to the simple Gos- 
'pelV The coincidence of these words with the con- 
clusion of the Apocalypse cannot but be apparent ; and 
they seem to recognise a complete written standard of 
Christian truth. 

So far then there is no trace in the Asiatic Churches 
of the use of the Epistle of St Jude ; and the use of the 
Epistle of St James and of the second Epistle of St 
Peter is at least very uncertain. Methodius alone un- 
doubtedly employs the language of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews ; but on the other hand the Apocalypse was 
recognised from the first as a work of the Apostle in the 
districts most immediately interested in its contents. 
The same may be said of the second Epistle of St John, 
and the slight value of merely negative evidence is 
shewn by the fact that no quotation from his third Epi- 
stle has yet been noticed, though its authenticity is 
necessarily connected with that of the second. But if 
the evidence for the New Testament Canon in the 
Churches of Asia Minor be incomplete, it is pure and 
unmixed. The reference of Irenaeus to the Shepherd of 
Hermas is the only passage with which I am acquainted 

1 Auct. adv. Cataphr. ap. Euseb. 
H. E.v. 16 (Routh, Rell. Sacr. ir. 
p. 183 sqq.): SeSiws 5^ Kal e^evXa^oij- 
fievos fxij 177] 56^w tlcIv €iri(xvyypd' 
(peiv rj ^TTiZiaTaaaeadai (cf. Gal. iii. 

l.s) Ti^ T^s Tov evayyeXiov Kaiprjs 5ia- 
di^Krji \6yi{}, <$ fJ-VT€ TrpoadelvaL fxrjT^ 
dipeXeiu dvvarou t(^ kutcl to evayyi- 
Xiov avTO ToXireijeadai Trporiprjfx^vci). 




which even appears to give authority to an uncanonical 
book\ Holy Scripture as a whole was recognised as a 
sure rule of doctrine. We acknowledge, said the Pres- 
bytery to Noetus, * one Christ the Son of God, who suf- 
' fered as He suffered, who died as He died, who rose 
'again, who ascended into heaven, who is on the right 
'hand of the Father, who is coming to judge quick and 
'dead. This we say, having learnt it from the divine 
' Scriptures, and this also we know'^.' 

§ 5. The Churches of Syria. 

Nothing more than the names of the successors of 
Ignatius in the see of Antioch has been preserved till the 
time of Theophilus the sixth in descent from the Apo- 
stles. Of the works which he wrote, three books to 
Autolycus — Elementary Evidences of Christianity^ — have 
been preserved entire; but the commentaries which bear 
his name are universally rejected as spurious. Eusebius 
has noticed that Theophilus quoted th^ Apocalypse in a 
treatise against Hermogenes* ; and one passage in his 
extant writings has been supposed to refer to it^. The 
reference however is very uncertain ; nor can much 
greater stress be laid on a passing coincidence with the 
language of the Epistle to the Hebrews^ The use 
which Theophilus makes of a metaphor which occurs in 
2 Peter is much more worthy of notice' ; and it is re- 

Chap. ii. 

^ The references to the Epistles of 
Clement (in. 2, § 3) and Polycarp {id. 
§ 4) are different in character. 

'^ Epiph. Hccr. lvi. i ; Routh, 
RelL Sacr. iv. p. •243. Miltiades 
again, with whose country I am un- 
acquainted, is said to have shewn 
' great zeal about the Divine Ora- 
• cles ' (Euseb. H. E. v. 1 7). Anato- 
lius of Laodicea has been mentioned 
already, p. 369, n. i. 

^ Euseb. H. E, IV. -24 : rpia ra 
irpoi AvToXvKOV CTOix^Kabr} (p^peTOiL 

4 Euseb. /. c. 

5 Theoph. ad AtitoL II. p. 104. 
Apoc. xii. 3 sqq. 

^ Ad Autol. II. p. 102. Hebr. xii. 
9. Cf. Lardner, li. 20, 25 sqq. 

7 Ad Autol. II. c. 13 (p. 92): 17 
Stara^ts ovv rov Qeov tovto iariv, 6 
\6yos ai>Tov <paLvcov uairep \i- 

I. T/te 
Church of 

c. 168—180 


The Apoca- 




Chap. ii. 


C. 190 A.D, 

markable that he distinctly quotes the Gospel of St 
John as written by one of those 'who were moved by 
the Spirit'.' 

Serapion who was second in descent from Theo- 
philus has left a very remarkable judgment on the Gos- 
pel according to Peter, which he found in use at Rhossus, 
a small town of Cijicia. ' We receive/ he says, when 
writing to the Church there^ ' both Peter and the other 
' Apostles as Christ ; but as experienced men we reject 
' the writings falsely inscribed with their names, since we 
'know that we did not receive such from [our fathers. 
' Still I allowed the book to be used,] for when I visited 
'you I supposed that all were attached to the right 
' faith ; and as I had not thoroughly examined the 
' Gospel which they brought forward under the name of 
' Peter I said : If this is the only thing which seems to 
' create petty jealousies [yi^iKpo-^v^iav] among you, let it 
'be read. But now since I have learnt from what has 
' been told me